17 Nov 2005

Fiji asks former soldiers to get out of PNG's Bougainville

9:29 am on 17 November 2005

Fiji has asked a group of its former soldiers to leave the rebel-held area in the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville, where they've been accused of training young people to fire weapons.

The Fiji High Commissioner in Papua New Guinea, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, says he's been in contact by satellite phone with eight men.

Bougainville police say nine Fiji men flew into the province at Buka from the capital, Port Moresby.

Ratu Inoke says the men travelled to Port Moresby from Honiara in Solomon Islands, and their arrival cards are in the possession of PNG immigration officials.

Ratu Inoke says the men have return air tickets which should enable them to leave.

He also says his office has been working closely with the PNG Government and that claims that the men were providing military training on Bougainville have not been substantiated.