16 Jul 2012

Fiji troops deployed as UN peacekeepers more than double since 2006

3:32 pm on 16 July 2012

The number of Fiji troops deployed as United Nations peacekeepers has more than doubled over the past six years despite initial UN warnings a military coup would mean taking fewer or no recruits from Fiji.

United Nations figures show 147 troops from Fiji were deployed in UN operations in May 2006 and that figure grew to 359 by May this year.

The investigation by New Zealand-based think tank 36th Parallel Assessments shows Fijian troops in Iraq have gone up by a third in the past year.

A founder of the firm, Selwyn Manning, says Fiji troops now make up three quarters of the UN contingent there.

"Most significantly too what did show up was the United Nations obviously values Fiji's combat skills. That can be borne (out) in the figures if you look into what countries are deployed to the UN mission to Iraq."

Selwyn Manning says in the past year Fiji has contributed more peacekeepers to UN operations than Australia, Canada and New Zealand combined.