Lebanon mission likely to end, says military

Members of the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces march to the Albert Park in Suva as Fiji marks the 40th anniversary of the country's participation in UN peacekeeping in June earlier this year. Picture ATU RASEA/FILE

THERE is likely to be no further deployment of Fijian troops under the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) by next month, says Republic of Fiji Military Forces chief of staff Brigadier General Jone Kalouniwai.

He said they were looking at other peacekeeping strategies to accommodate this.

“There are discussions that they will come back in December, so the RFMF is bracing for that and it will be an opportunity for us to come back and relook at our peacekeeping strategies and see what we can do in terms of having this particular capability back with us,” Brig-Gen Kalouniwai said.

He said this would provide them with the opportunity to prepare a standby regiment for UN peacekeeping requirements.

“This is not a loss for RFMF, we still have opportunities for them to go out into Iraq, Sinai and Syria.

“The numbers maybe reduced and we currently have planners on how we can readjust our numbers and fit those that are required,” he said. The first deployment of Fijian soldiers to Lebanon was in 1978 which was led by former president Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

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