16 Dec 2003

Fiji army commander seeks contract renewal

4:59 pm on 16 December 2003

Fiji's army commander has announced that he will be seeking a renewal of his contract when it ends in February.

And, in a statement, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says he is concerned that there are elements in government which are strongly lobbying for a change in command.

The government has offered the commander various diplomatic postings abroad which he has refused.

Army spokesperson, Warrant officer, Neumi Leweni, says Commodore Bainimarama, as the head of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, or RFMF, wants to continue in his position.

"The RFMF is fully aware of its role and the current political climate is one which needs to be monitored with care. It would be therefore fair for the loyal citizens in Fiji for RFMF to see its plan through before a change is made. A new commander will then be an option. Once it is established that the political climate is the one that is free of tainted politicians and the atmosphere is conducive to changes for the betterment of our nation."

Army spokesperson, warrant officer, Neumi Leweni