14 Dec 2005

Bougainville authority says rebels want Fijian soldiers to leave

4:17 pm on 14 December 2005

Authorities closest to the rebel zones in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville say most local people want six former Fiji soldiers to get out.

The money scheme operator Noah Musingku hired the men to provide military training to his followers at Tonu near Siwai in southern Bougainville.

A Fiji diplomat has returned to the PNG capital, Port Moresby, after trying to convince the six men to leave.

Some Bougainville militants are now threatening to use force to evict the ex-soldiers if they don't leave by Tuesday.

The district officer in Arawa, Otto Naruka, wants the Fijians to be turned over to police in Port Moresby.

"Well it's up to the Papua New Guinea government since we are not independent yet. But the work that they are doing, is not in line with proper visas and all this too."

Mr Naruka says the second secretary at the Fiji High Commission in Port Moresby, Emosi Rakai, didn't contact his office when working to extract the two ringleaders of the Fiji group.