16 Mar 2006

Stand-off between Fiji military and police resolved

4:15 pm on 16 March 2006

Fiji's military claims this week's stand-off between the army and the police over firearms, has now blown over.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, held talks with the head of the military today after the army accused him of diverting nearly 1.5 million US dollars worth of firearms meant for its troops in Iraq.

The military had accused Mr Hughes of arming the police in a challenge to the army's role as the final custodian of Fiji's national security.

However, the police chief said before the meeting that it was all just a big misunderstanding.

"They felt wrongly I believe that we had some sort of conspiracy, had managed to divert these arms from them. And secondly I think there was a misconception that we were somehow attempting to amass an armoury that would be a threat to them and to national security, and of course that's far from the truth."

Mr Hughes said he would take steps to try and improve communication between the two organisations.