13 Dec 2006

Fiji military on alert after death threats against its commander

11:21 am on 13 December 2006

There are reports that death threats have been made against Fiji's military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Last night, the Commodore warned supporters of the ousted Prime Minister not to back what he says are attempts to set up a de facto government in the West.

Laisenia Qarase denies he is setting up an administration to oppose the military regime.

This morning one of the local papers reports that a group of traditional warriors is threatening the commodore and his soldiers :

From Suva, Philippa Tolley has more.

"The military commander, Frank Bainimarama, warned the military would not tolerate any effort to set up an alternative administration and said any backers of such plans could put themselves, as he put it, in harms way. But the Fiji Sun says the threat comes from a group of traditional warriors from 14 provinces which has called on the Commodore to withdraw and return everything to its former state by Christmas day ..or, it says, face the group's wrath. It says all soliders should return home by the 20th of ths month or their homes will be burnt out. Mr Qarase has denied the claims he is setting up an alternative government and countered by describing the country as sliding into a dictatorship. Mr Qarase says he still plans to return to Suva this week."