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Australian Defence Force To Work With RFMF On Peacekeeping

By next month, the Austral­ian Defence Force’s Peace Operations Training Centre will be working with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) to deliver the very first joint training course here at Blackrock.
01 Apr 2022 18:30
Australian Defence Force To Work With RFMF On Peacekeeping
From left: The Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Zed Seselja, Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama and the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces Naval Division, Commodore Humphrey Tawake walking through the Blackrock Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Camp in Nadi on March 14, 2022. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

By next month, the Austral­ian Defence Force’s Peace Operations Training Centre will be working with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) to deliver the very first joint training course here at Blackrock.

This was confirmed by the Minis­ter of International Development and the Pacific, Zed Seselja.

Mr Seselja said Fijian peacekeep­ers have served and sacrificed in peacekeeping operations across the world for more than forty years.

“Fiji’s longstanding contribution to international peace and secu­rity has done the region proud,” he said.

He said Blackrock’s new train­ing and accommodation facilities would help Fiji develop your peace­keeping capability for the future.

“And these facilities will allow you to share Fiji’s peacekeeping expertise with our region,” he added.

“Fijians have long contended with cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis and floods, as have Australians.

“Volcanic and seismic activity is a constant risk in the region, and we know that climate change is in­creasing frequency and severity of weather events as well.

“The facilities here at Blackrock will make an immense contribu­tion to regional humanitarian and disaster response efforts.”

He also said acknowledged the in­valuable contribution Fiji made to the response to the floods in Aus­tralia.

“The most prominent – but by no means only – example, is the group of 45 Fijian abattoir workers who saved aged care residents in Lis­more,” Mr Seselja said.

“Their selfless heroism is a potent symbol of the values our people share. And Prime Minister, I thank you for your agreement to reassign 43 RFMF personnel to Australia’s Operation Flood Assist 2022.”

He said they would work along­side 5,000 members of the Austral­ian Defence Force.

“This builds on Fiji’s support to Australia’s bushfire recovery in 2019-2020. And our partnership ex­tends across the region.”

He thanked Fiji for its robust and principled international position on Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine, and acknowledged the collective position of the Pacific Islands Forum in response to this crisis.

“In our own region, coercion, dis­information and foreign interfer­ence are on the rise. None of us here today wish to see the regional order undermined or destabilised. This is why Australia is working with Fiji and other Pacific part­ners to build sovereign resilience and support the rule of law in our region.”

He said Australia was looking for­ward to continuing to work with Fiji to ensure the peace, resilience and security of our region in the years ahead.

Feedback: shreeya.verma@fijisun.com.fj  



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