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UPDATED: 13:03, April 10, 2007
More Fiji troops to Sinai for peacekeeping
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More Fiji troops are leaving for peacekeeping duties abroad despite opposition from New Zealand and Australia and the Commonwealth secretary general, Don McKinnon, said the army spokesman Tuesday.

According to the Daily Post, a local newspaper, 23 Fiji troops left for Sinai Monday to join the Multi-National Force and Observers.

The United States sponsored force supervises the implementation of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty in the Sinai Peninsula.

Fiji military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, said another contingent of Fiji soldiers will leave for Sinai on April 23.

A further 202 officers and troops will leave for Iraq at the end of the month to provide security for UN diplomats and staff in Baghdad.

These deployments of Fiji soldiers come despite lobbying against their employment after last year's coup by the New Zealand and Australian governments and McKinnon who is a former New Zealand foreign minister.

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, has thanked the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, for employing Fiji soldiers, adding that attempts to stop them in peacekeeping were also an attempt to hurt the common people of the country.

Source: Xinhua

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