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'We are informed'

Dawn Gibson
Tuesday, August 05, 2014

TWENTY-SEVEN Fijian officers deployed to Liberia for peacekeeping duties are in good hands.

This reassurance from the Fiji Police Force comes in the wake of widespread fears stemming from the Ebola outbreak affecting West Africa, including Liberia.

So far, more than 600 people have died from Ebola — which remains incurable — and global powers including the UK, US and Japan have introduced contingency measures to prevent its spread.

"The women and men who are currently in Liberia are there as part of the one year rotation, so they'll be there for 12 months in total before returning to Fiji," said police spokesperson Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri.

When contacted last week about the welfare of Fiji's armed forces in the area, Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald told The Fiji Times that if any of their lives were at risk, they would be notified immediately.

"The wellbeing of our detachment peoples are looked after by the United Nations and if there is any concern, they will act and they will inform us," Mr Groenewald explained.

He said that the police force was updated regularly by the UN Peacekeeping Organisation regarding Fijian missions.

"We have regular communiqués from them in terms of our detachment people and whenever there are any threats, or anything against any of our people, we are informed accordingly by the UN.

"They do regular progress reports to all countries involved in these peacekeeping missions, so I'm satisfied that if there is in fact any outbreak of disease, illness, or whatever, we are informed.

"So, what I'm saying is that I rest assured that if there are any concerns, the UN mission managers will take care of that."

The World Health Organization recently issued a travel advisory saying there was a risk for healthcare workers and volunteers, especially if involved in caring for Ebola patients.

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