9 Jan 2006

Fiji military concerned by shipment of new weapons to police

11:24 am on 9 January 2006

The Fiji military has expressed serious concern about a shipment of arms sent to the police last week.

The Fiji Sun reports that the assistant commissioner of police, Samuela Matakibau, has confirmed that they received a shipment of arms but refused to comment on the type of weapons they were.

The military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, has called on the government to come clean on their motive for supplying arms to police.

It has also been revealed that firearms purchased for use by Fiji soldiers in Iraq were diverted to the police.

Captain Leweni says soldiers were waiting for these weapons for use in Iraq in the next deployment but it was directed elsewhere.

The general secretary of the Fijian Political Party, Ema Druavesi, says national security will be at risk if police are to use firearms intended for the military.

Ms Druavesi says the government is always using such tactics to separate the two security forces but this has to stop now.