28 Jul 2005

Fiji opposition wants government response on alleged talks with mercenaries

5:31 pm on 28 July 2005

Fiji's opposition leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, will be calling on the Prime Minister to confirm or deny rumours that his government has been holding talks with a private Israeli mercenary force.

Several reports allege that both the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase and the Home Affairs Minister, Josefa Vosanibola have met the Israeli-trained Fijian security officer, Viliame Raqio, of the Tel Aviv based company, Global Security International.

Mr Raqio is reported to have said that his protection squad is awaiting a call from the government if the military tries to stop the passing of the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Mr Chaudry says he will be asking an urgent question in Parliament on monday and if the rumours are true then he will consider moving a censure motion.

He says the development is disturbing and a serious threat to national security.

"It will create a situation here which would be quite dangerous and you know, there are various possibilities so I hope it doesn't happen because we don't want to see a conflict between our army and any outside forces. It could be very very dangerous for Fiji, it could set us back and it could have very grave repurcussions for the local people here."

The leader of the Opposition in Fiji, Mahendra Chaudhry