15 Jun 2011

Vanuatu's Kilman says allegations of abuse in Fiji won't damage MSG reputation

8:37 am on 15 June 2011

The Vanuatu prime minister, Sato Kilman, says he doesn't think the reputation of the Melanesian Spearhead Group has been damaged by allegations of human rights abuses by its chair, Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

A former Fiji military officer, Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, says he witnessed Commodore Bainimarama beating women detained at the barracks and asked for police to investigate.

Mr Kilman, who handed the MSG chairmanship to Commodore Bainimarama in March, says he cannot comment on Colonel Mara's links to the military.

"I don't know Colonel Mara myself, I don't know what his relationship to both the Commodore and the military as such in Fiji. Therefore I don't think I can comment on that."

The Vanuatu prime minister, Sato Kilman.