29 Dec 2005

Fiji minister says no need for alarm over military standoff

4:06 pm on 29 December 2005

Fiji's minister for home affairs says there is no need for alarm over the standoff with the military.

The Fiji Times quotes Josefa Vosanibola as saying he has personally taken over the issues which the military commander is not happy with, and will work to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

Commodore Bainimarama had threatened to remove the chief executive of the home affairs ministry, Lesi Korovavala, and the minister himself, if Mr Vosanibola didn't listen to the military's advice on national security matters.

The latest standoff is over the delay, by the home affairs ministry, in recommending the commissioning of the judge advocate, Graham Leung, which has held up the retrial of 20 soldiers charged with the November 2000 mutiny.

Mr Vosanibola says he will soon be writing to the President's Office, to settle the commissioning of Mr Leung as the judge advocate.

But Mr Vosanibola would not comment on Commodore Bainimarama's threat to move into the office of the home affairs chief executive, Lesi Korovavala, which is next to the minister's office, by January the 9th.