4 Nov 2011

Mara says UN hires Fiji troops abusing human rights

2:53 pm on 4 November 2011

A former Fiji army colonel, Ratu Tevita Mara, says recent claims by the UN secretary-general that it doesn't deploy soldiers known to have violated human rights are misleading.

Ratu Tevita, who fled Fiji while facing sedition charges, says the UN's employment of Fiji soldiers in places like Iraq helps give leverage to the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

He says the military is the only institution that tolerates Commodore Bainimarama because he allows them to take on lucrative peacekeeping duties

Ratu Tevita says if the UN and American security companies stopped using Fiji soldiers it would undermine his position.

He says employing Fiji soldiers makes the UN complicit in its abuse of Fiji people.

"On one hand the UN is saying Fiji should return to democracy and it does not support military dictatorship and on the other hand it's employing Fiji soldiers who Bainimarama uses to terrorise the people in Fiji."

A former Fiji army colonel, Ratu Tevita Mara