19 Oct 2010

Afghan ban could mean job losses for hundreds of Fiji security workers

6:57 pm on 19 October 2010

A ban on private security firms working in Afghanistan could mean hundreds of former Fiji soldiers returning home to look for work.

Several hundred have been deployed there over the past three years as part of a 40,000 armed force working for 50 security companies.

But Colonel Sakiusa Raivoce, who represents the security company Global Risk International in Fiji, says jobs are now drying up after the Afghan President Hamid Karzai gave private firms four months to leave out of fear they're undermining government forces.

"The outlook at the moment is not good because we have not been getting any offers from Afghanistan. The Iraq situation is stable at the moment and there are small projects in Saudi Arabia and oil wells and the pipeline in Nigeria."

Colonel Raivoce says about 500 Fiji staff are still deployed in Iraq.