Singh, 23, accomplishes military career dream

Lance Corporal Erelia Rokovosa (left) with privates Makerita Liku, Maria Bogi, Matelita Marama, Alarita Baleikasau, Adi Tora Tamani and Artika Singh pose for a photo at the Black Rock in Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

PRIVATE Artika Singh had always desired to join the military. Her wish was granted after being recruited in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) in 2015.

This year, the Savusavu lass is one of the 90 RFMF personnel who will be deployed overseas.

Nine women are also part of the 21A UN Assistance Mission in Iraq. Speaking to this newspaper during the farewell ceremony at the Black Rock Camp in Nadi, Ms Singh said she was looking forward to the challenge.

“It will be a challenge but it was always my dream to become a soldier, so I’m grateful.”

While speaking to members of the military, Youth and Sports Minister Laisenia Tuitubou also highlighted the importance of peacekeeping missions.

“Since the 1970s, Fijian peacekeepers have served in Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Darfur, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Sinai, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan and Timor-Leste,” he said.

“UN peacekeeping operations are not solutions for the world’s problems but they are critical for enabling peace and stability, protecting innocent parties from violence and rebuilding post-conflict societies.”

The soldiers also trained at Black Rock prior to the deployment.

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