Fijian peacekeepers should go home – Greens

Green MP Keith Locke wants Fijiian troops under New Zealand command to be sent home from East Timor, and Fiji to be excluded from all future UN peacekeeping missions.

“The Fiji military’s capitulation to George Speight means that it must be treated as an enemy of democracy,” said Mr Locke, the Green’s foreign affairs spokesperson.

“They’ve even rewarded the army officers who executed the coup, accepting them back into the fold at full rank.”

“Fijian troops should be banned from current and future UN peacekeeping missions, and we should have nothing further to do with the Fiji military until there is a return to democracy.”

New Zealand is directly involved with Fijian troops in East Timor, with Fijian soldiers effectively under New Zealand command in the Suai area.

“The Government should ask UNTAET to replace the Fijian troops as quickly as possible,” said Mr Locke.

“New Zealand should also insist that any UN money owing to Fiji for peacekeeping is withheld until constitutional government is restored.”

Mr Locke said Fiji’s military is largely sustained by UN funds, and gets much of its mana from its peacekeeping role.

“Pulling the plug now would be a good wakeup call to them. They allowed George Speight and his men to overthrow democracy in Fiji. It must be made clear that this is unacceptable to New Zealand and other democratic countries.”