16 Jul 2012

Analyst finds weakened stance on Fiji troop deployment with UN

7:46 pm on 16 July 2012

A New Zealand-based think tank says New Zealand and Australia have quietly weakened their stance on Fijian troops' deployment as United Nations peacekeepers.

The firm 36th Parallel Assessments says UN figures show the number of Fiji troops deployed to UN missions has increased by 144 per cent since 2006, with Fiji now making up three quarters of the UN's contingent in Iraq.

An analyst with the firm, Selwyn Manning, says New Zealand's staunch view against troop contributions by the military-led regime immediately after the coup has since held no sway with a pragmatic UN.

"Certainly in the last four years there's been what we would say, as an observer, a policy-fade situation going on where the government itself is not really making any comment relating to Fiji's contributions."

Selwyn Manning says the rapid increase in Fijian peacekeeper numbers over the past two years runs parallel with a thaw in relations between the United States and Fiji.