Fiji Time: 4:05 PM on Saturday 28 November

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Tough but right

Tevita Vuibau
Monday, September 01, 2014

RFMF Commander Mosese Tikoitoga says he supports the decision made by the commander of the 44 captive Fijian troops to lay down their weapons and allow themselves to be captured.

The Fijian peacekeepers were captured after they were confronted by a force of 150-200 militants at their position in the Golan Heights.

He said the commander on the ground had tough decisions to make based on the presented scenarios and he fully supported his decision.

"I think you would understand with him on the ground and 44 men under his command, looking down the barrel of 150-200 armed elements with five or six times more weaponry than they have, the questions that will be running through the commander's mind would be 'Do I become a tiger and fight or do I become a cat and fight another day?'" Brig-Gen Tikoitoga said.

He said there were a number of factors to consider when making such decisions and he was confident the commander in question had done so to the best of his ability.

"And under those circumstances I will support the commander and the decision that he took.

"If all the men come back alive after this ordeal then the decision was a good one.

"If some get hurt then we could then decide on that later."

He explained the rule of engagement for UNDOF was very robust and allowed for Fijian troops to use deadly force to defend themselves and UN property

"But if you use your deadly force and you kill one of the 200 and you lose 15 of your troops, what's the point of trying to use the rules of engagement," he concluded.

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