30 Dec 2004

Fiji may send a further 134 troops to Iraq

11:30 am on 30 December 2004

Fiji's military says it may double the number of military peacekeepers it has in Iraq.

Fiji sent 1-hundred and 34 military peacekeepers to Baghdad on November the 17th to guard the new United Nations headquarters there.

The spokesman for the Fiji military, Captain Neumi Leweni, says the UN has suggested this presence be boosted by a similar amount.

Captain Leweni says no formal request has been made by the U.N. yet, but if extra troops are sent, it will be for as-yet-unspecified duties in Basra.

"There was talks between the [Army] commander or our Minister and some government officials. There might be another deployment to Basra, but that's just all talk now and nothing has happened any further."

Captain Leweni says he has no idea when a decision might be made on a further deployment.

In the meantime, he remains in regular contact with the military peacekeepers in Baghdad, and he says, apart from suffering from the cold, their work is going to plan.