13 Dec 2014

Fiji peacekeepers head to Lebanon

8:37 am on 13 December 2014

More than 100 Fijian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force on the Golan Heights will be deployed to Lebanon in the near future.

Speaking at the RFMF Commander's Parade, Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga said the troops will join the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

He said preparations are underway for the soldiers to commence duties either at the end of the year or early next year.

Commander Tikoitoga also added that the RFMF will next year be engaged in peacekeeping duties not only in Lebanon but also in Iraq, Egypt and Syria.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who visited the troops on the Golan Heights earlier this month during his overseas tour, commended the RFMF for expanding its commitment to international peacekeeping by re-joining the mission in Lebanon.

In August, 45 United Nations Fijian soldiers, who were part of a UN peacekeeping force, were seized in the Golan Heights by rebels from the al-Nusra Front, which has links to al-Qaeda.

The group was released two weeks later.