6 Nov 2006

Fiji military wants more information on group of Australian nationals

12:15 pm on 6 November 2006

The Fiji military has accused Australia of sending a group of police officers to the country, who it has described as mercenaries.

The commander of the land forces, Colonel Pita Driti, says the group of Australian nationals bypassed proper channels and left the airport in Nadi under police escort on Friday night.

Colonel Driti says they unloaded 400 kilograms of equipment in strong silver boxes, again without customs clearance.

": In the interests of the nation and what could be seen as a threat to national security, the RFMF demands an explanation from Commissioner Hughes on this very, very serious matter.:"

Colonel Driti says the military is also questioning the arrival of New Zealand police officers and what powers they have to exercise their duty in a country where they don't have the mandate to operate

The Australian government said late last night that none of its police had been sent to Fiji.

He says the military will not accept any foreign intervention but he reiterated that there will not be any overthrow of the government.