29 May 2006

Fiji troops and police waiting for call to help out in East Timor

6:17 pm on 29 May 2006

Fiji troops and police are ready for deployment to help restore law and order in East Timor which has been torn by internal fighting since last week.

A Fiji military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, says they are only waiting for a request to begin deployment but so far have not been asked.

Fiji's home affairs minister, Josefa Vosanibola, says as soon as the government receives a request, he will hold talks with the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, on deploying troops.

Fiji troops were stationed in East Timor from 1999 until last year when they were withdrawn.

1,300 Australian troops and 200 from New Zealand have already been flown into East Timor in the last few days.

A spokesperson for the Fiji police, Sylvia Low, says the force would be ready to help restore stability in East Timor if requested.