30 Oct 2006

Fiji police opposes release of army ammunition

3:38 pm on 30 October 2006

Fiji's police commissioner is refusing to release a container of ammunition which has arrived for the military because of fears it might be used to overthrow the government.

The police stance comes after the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, issued an ultimatum to the prime minister Laisenia Qarase to either drop the controversial Reconciliation and Unity, and Foreshore Bills, or resign.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says the ammunition arrived in Suva on Saturday.

"A quantity of ammunition 600 000 rounds weighing about seven point five tonnes arrived for the republic of Fiji military forces into Suva from Korea and it is currently being held at the customs and excise warehouse."

Mr Hughes says he did not sign off the ammunition import because of the military's stand-off with the government.

But the military spokesperson, Major Neumi Leweni, denies that the ammunition is in the port.

The ammunition hasn't arrived yet and until it arrives, I cannot comment any further.

Neumi Leweni.