19 Sep 2006

Fiji seeks more UN military jobs

2:12 pm on 19 September 2006

Fiji's minister for home affairs will travel to the United Nations next week to see if the world body can employ more senior Fiji military officers in strategic positions in its Peacekeeping Department.

Josefa Vosanibola has told Fiji TV that Fiji has provided troops to man risky frontline positions on the ground such as manning checkpoints since 1978 when they first went to Lebanon.

He says it is now time that Fiji's military officers play a more strategic role such as making key planning decisions to gain experience.

Fiji's military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, will accompany Mr Vosanibola to the United Nations.

But Fiji may have problems taking up such senior positions at the UN because it currently has only six colonels and six lieutenant colonels on active service.

After their call at the UN, both Mr Vosanibola and Commodore Bainimarama will also visit Fiji troops in the Sinai and Iraq.