5 Dec 2006

Calls in Fiji for women to mediate between government and military

1:08 pm on 5 December 2006

There's a call in Fiji for women to mediate between the government and the military as unease continues with threats of a military coup.

A key NGO, the Citizens Constitutional Forum, says there's a clear absence of women being used as mediators despite offers of help during the impasse.

The director of the Citizens Constitutional Forum, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, claims that most of the members of the Great Council of Chiefs committee set up to mediate between the parties backed the 2000 coup.

Rev Yabaki says its clear the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, is not listening to those in the chiefly hierarchy and needs to talk to people on the same level.

"There are people who are acceptable to both sides. There's a clear absense of women. There's some outstanding women in Fiji who could be used and they are offering their skills, people who are involved in crises of different kinds, former counselling and other things."

Rev Yabaki says political agendas are overriding efforts to resolve the situation.