June 26, 2013

PM: Deployment more dangerous than any mission

Ana Madigibuli
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

THE deployment of the Fijian soldiers for the peacekeeping missions to the Golan Heights will be the most dangerous deployment that Fijian soldiers have ever faced under UN peacekeeping missions.

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the task ahead would be a difficult one which is to keep the peace in the Golan Heights that separates Israel and Syria.

"This may be a more dangerous deployment than other UN peacekeeping missions," Commodore Bainimarama said.

"For four decades, the United Nations has been responsible for managing the stage of peace there but because of the increased potential for peace to be threatened in the Golan Heights due to the internal political upheaval in Syria, the UN has called for more peacekeepers and Fiji has answered that call.

"Already certain countries have withdrawn their troops, but let me also be clear, our troops are prepared for the mission."

He said the deployed personnel have the leadership, training, discipline and attitude they need to see them through.

"Answering the call to restore peace for the protection of innocent men, women and children is the most honourable task a soldier can perform," Commodore Bainimarama said.

"When the UN asks us to help its peacekeeping efforts, Fiji says 'yes' because of our commitment to be good global citizens.

"We have told the United Nations that we are willing to provide up to 500 soldiers for this mission if they are needed and will consider requests for more."

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