31 Oct 2006

Fiji's military commander tells police commissioner to hand over ammunition

7:34 am on 31 October 2006

Fiji's military commander has warned the police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, to act sensibly and release the ammunition which he has held back at Suva wharf over national security fears.

The Fiji Sun reports that Commodore Bainimarama has issued the warning from Iraq where he is visiting Fiji troops

Commodore Bainimarama says the commissioner's action is unnecessary because people will think there is a rift between the police and the army when there is none.

He says Mr Hughes is wrong in suspecting that the ammunition could be used by the military to oust the Qarase government.

Commodore Bainimarama says Mr Hughes must release the ammunition because if anything happens, the police commissioner will pack his bag and fly back to Australia leaving the country in a mess.

Commodore Bainimarama says he was advised to return to Fiji to sort the matter out but chose to continue visiting troops who have laid their lives on the line for Fiji by serving in war-torn countries.

Talks are due to take place in Suva today between the acting commander, navy Captain Esala Teleni, and Mr Hughes on the release of the seven and half tonnes of ammunition which the army says is needed for training.