26 Oct 2004

Six women among the more than 160 Fiji troops being sent to Iraq

5:16 pm on 26 October 2004

At least six women soldiers will be among more than 160 Fiji troops to be deployed to war-torn Iraq next month to guard the United Nations Assistance Mission.

One of the women, Private Talei Tora of the army's media cell, has told the Fiji Sun they are being specifically sent to conduct body searches on females who may be carrying explosives or weapons.

But they will also conduct main gate, perimeter and internal security duties.

Private Tora, who is a graduate journalist, says the other women to be deployed comprise a dental therapist, a physiotherapist, a nurse, and two senior clerks.

She says they won't be needed in administration so they will be at the frontline with the men.

Private Tora says the women soldiers have some reservations about going to Iraq but not enough to make them not want to go.

She says they will be rotated after three months because of the intensity of the job.

Fiji is the only country in the world which has agreed to send troops to guard the United Nations Mission in Iraq.