16 Feb 2004

Fiji NGO head says the country's national security is threatened by illegal guns in the community

4:43 pm on 16 February 2004

Fiji's Citizens Constitutional Forum says terrorism exists in the country and is now a national security threat.

The comment follows a weekend robbery where four people used an M-16 assault rifle and two pistols at a supermarket in Suva, stealing 100-thousand U.S. dollars worth of takings.

The CCF's Reverend Aquila Yabaki says since the May 2000 coup, the whereabouts of about a dozen military weapons is still unknown.

He says they are now being used in terrorist acts.

"There is an element of terrorism associated with four people armed with an M16 rifle walking into a supermarket and telling everyone to lie down on the ground and who have actually fired shots there's an element of terrorism there. So we have our own terrorism. So the terrorism is not so much terrorism out there, its within. 16"

The Reverend Yabaki says collecting military weapons which have been stolen, is a major concern in the Pacific Islands region.