RFMF Willing To Send More Officers To UNTSO
The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) has informed the United Nations of its willingness to send more officers to join the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).
This was revealed by the RFMF Land Force Commander Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho.
Since the RFMF started its peacekeeping mission with the United Nations Fiji soldiers had worked alongside UNTSO but no one was really involved with it.
However, there had been a breakthrough now with Major Aseri Rokoura joining UNTSO’s oberver group based in Lebanon.
He said Major Rokoura was enjoying working at the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation and the RFMF was ready to deploy soldiers to UNTSO if required.
A release says UNTSO’s activities have been and still are spread over territory within five States – Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syrian Arab Republic. Therefore it has relations with the five host countries.
Following the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 it adds, the functions of the observers changed in light of changing circumstances, but UNTSO remained in the area. It acted as go-between for the hostile parties and as the means by which isolated incidents could be contained and prevented from escalating into major conflicts.
In the Middle East, groups of UNTSO military observers are today attached to the peacekeeping forces in the area:
– the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights;
– the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
A group of observers remain in Sinai to maintain a United Nations presence in that peninsula.
In addition, UNTSO maintains offices in Beirut and Damascus.
The RFMF’s Commander, Brigadier- General Mosese Tikoitoga had mentioned the possible redeployment of more than 100 Fijian peacekeepers serving with UNDOF on the Golan Heights to Lebanon. This was during the Commander’s Parade at Suva’s Albert Park on December 15.
He said there were certain procedures to be followed before possible redeployment can happen.
First, a reconnaissance team from Fiji’s military forces is to survey the area of operation of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNFIL).
This team, he says, will then prepare a memorandum of understading (MOU) to be signed and have the final approval from Cabinet.
Once all those were done, Colonel Qiliho said, the group would be redeployed from the Golan Heights to UNFIL.