30 Oct 2006

Fiji orders 3,000 territorials to report to camp

12:01 pm on 30 October 2006

Fiji's military has ordered 3,000 territorial force soldiers to report into camp in their uniforms and field gear on Thursday .

Troops of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th battalions of the Fiji Infantry Regiment have been summoned to their barracks in Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa, Nasinu and Suva while navy reservists will report to their base in Walu Bay.

The move has sparked fears that the military may take over the government because of the pending threat by its commander, Commodore Bainimarama, against the government.

Commodore Bainimarama has asked the prime minister to withdraw the Reconciliation and Unity and Qoliqoli bills or he would march into Laisenia Qarase's office and demand his resignation.

But the military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says there is no sinister motive in the recall of the territorial forces who will only be attending their annual camp and training for 2 weeks.

Major Leweni says there is always a perception that when a large body of troops gather something is going to happen, but that is not true in this case.