30 Nov 2005

Fiji apologises to Papua New Guinea over Bougainville military training

4:29 pm on 30 November 2005

Fiji has made a formal apology to the president of the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, after two of its former soldiers gave military training to rebels there.

Freddy Rokodi and Sam Baroi have been questioned in the capital, Port Moresby, after they were escorted by a Fiji diplomat on a flight back from Bougainville.

The Bougainville president, Joseph Kabui, says the second secretary at the Fiji high commission, Emosi Rakai, has promised to return to the province to draw out the remaining six former Fiji soldiers.

"The second secretary, in a dinner that we hosted, certainly expressed a very profound regret and apologised for the activities of the Fijian citizens."

President Kabui says the two Fijians confirmed while passing through Buka that they had given training to security men employed by the wanted U-Vistract investment scheme manager, Noah Musingku.

The Christian Mission Fellowship in Fiji would neither confirm nor deny information from a credible source that Mr Rokodi was a member of the organisation.