Repatriating Fijians from PNG is our last option: Defence Minister Seruiratu

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Fijian Defence Minister, Inia Seruiratu says that repatriating Fijians who live in Papua New Guinea will be the last option.

This as widespread chaos and violent attacks were experienced in most of the provinces in PNG in recent weeks, involving people who are against the voting or election processes.

Seruiratu said Fiji has strong bilateral relations with PNG as part of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, and arrangements have been made about the security of the Fijian community.

He said as of now, members of the Fijian community are safe, however, they will continue to closely monitor the situation.

“There are quite a good number of Fijians in PNG, and through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, they liaise very closely with the team that is there in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in PNG, and of course, we have the links between the police force and the RFMF.”

Seruiratu stresses Fiji respects its sovereignty and will only deploy the military as well as police personnel when the need arises or upon request from the PNG government.

“That can be a possibility, and of course, under the regional mechanisms, we will always consider options because of Fiji and of course, our brothers and sisters in the region, do need our assistance, that is something that can be considered.”

Media reports highlight this is the worst election in PNG’s history, as violence continues to accelerate in most of the provinces, particularly the Enga province and capital Port Moresby…

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS