18 Jan 2006

Fiji lawyer against use of force to shift Fiji mercenaries on Bougainville

3:04 pm on 18 January 2006

A Fiji lawyer representing the five Fijian mercenaries still on the island of Bougainville has warned Papua New Guinea authorities against using guns to force his clients out.

The Daily Post quotes Niko Nawaikula, who is also a Fiji government MP from the Conservative Alliance party, as claiming the men are not armed.

Mr Nawaikula says the Fiji government must intervene because the men are Fiji citizens and as such have the right to Fijian laws, including the United Nations Convention on Human Rights.

The PNG newspaper, the National, had earlier quoted the president of the Bougainville Autonomous Government, Joseph Kabui, as saying they planned to use armed fighters from the secessionist rebellion on the island to flush out the five Fiji hired guns.

Mr Nawaikula says he would advise against any such moves by the authorities in Bougainville.

Two other former Fiji soldiers were deported earlier this month, and another was awaiting deportation in Port Moresby.