17 Sep 2013

Australia and NZ urged to address sanctions against Fiji's military

9:55 am on 17 September 2013

The Director of the Centre for International and Regional Affairs at the University of Fiji, Dr Richard Herr, says New Zealand and Australia will have to address their military sanctions against Fiji.

New Zealand formally lifted sporting sanctions on Fiji last week but travel sanctions still remain for key members of the regime and military.

The new government in Australia has also signalled a change in direction towards Fiji.

Dr Herr says it is not wise to continue to isolate the military which will, under Fiji's new constitution, remain part of the political scene.

"The simple fact is that we need a military that is comfortable working with civilian rule, that is comfortable in dealing with the idea of being supportive of democratic governance and isolating them I don't think has been helpful or instructive in any way over the last six or seven years."

Dr Herr says Fiji will accept nothing less than an easing of Australia's travel sanctions.