NEWS

Our Returned Peacekeepers Tell Of Tense Sinai Situation

Republic of Fiji Military Forces chief petty officer Laiakini Camaibula told the Fiji Sun at Nadi International Airport that they were lucky to arrive into the country in one piece.
06 Jun 2016 09:44
Our Returned Peacekeepers Tell Of Tense Sinai Situation
Republic of Fiji Military Forces Multinational Force and Observers peacekeepers...From left: Private Metuisela Sema, Corporal Sailosi Rataba and Private Alena Finau at the Nadi International Airport yesterday morning. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Republic of Fiji Military Forces chief petty officer Laiakini Camaibula told the Fiji Sun at Nadi International Airport that they were lucky to arrive into the country in one piece.

He was one of the 57 peacekeepers who arrived into the country from Sinai yesterday morning on a Fiji Airways flight from Singapore.

They were part of the battalion serving with the Multinational Force and Observers in the troubled Sinai, part of Egypt.

Mr Camaibula, who hails from Keteira, Moala, Lau, said they were based at the North Camp in Sinai and were relocated to the South Camp because the situation was very tense.

It came amidst escalating attacks by so-called Islamic State militants who had killed hundreds of Egyptian troops and border Police officers.

He said while at the North Camp, they were on a 24-hour alert and were fully armed.

“We could hear gunshot and shells blowing up. We were in between real live battle. We had full armoury, bullet vests, metal helmets and loaded weapons 24/7,” he  said.

As peacekeepers, he said, they were not allowed to retaliate.

Mr Camaibau has been in the force for the last 29 years.

He has had three tours of duty- twice in Sinai and once in Iraq.

Naitasiri lass, Private Alena Finau who has been in Sinai for a mere two months said: “My tour of duty was short-lived, it is not really good to be back home as I don’t feel right to leave my comrades behind especially when the situation is this tense.”

The returning peacekeepers were met at the airport by the RFMF director peacekeeping Commander Humphrey Tawake.

He said now that they had returned, the RFMF had set up a contingency plan for them.

Commander Tawake said some of the returning soldiers would be deployed to the Golan Heights and Iraq United Nations Missions.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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