SUNCITY

Veiuto Students Pray For Our 45 Soldiers

Close to 100 students of Veiuto Primary School in Suva spent part of their school day yesterday praying for the 45 Fijian soldiers who are being held captive by the
05 Sep 2014 09:10
Veiuto Students Pray For Our 45 Soldiers

Close to 100 students of Veiuto Primary School in Suva spent part of their school day yesterday praying for the 45 Fijian soldiers who are being held captive by the al-Nusra Front in the Golan Heights, Syria.

Al-Nusra is a wing of al-Qaeda.

About 939 students of Veiuto, from different religions, and their 30 teachers, joined school children in primary schools in Fiji to pray for the quick release and safety of the Fijian soldiers.

The soldiers, peacekeepers under the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria, were held captive last Thursday after rebels overran the Quneitra crossing on the de facto border between the Syrian and Israeli-controlled parts of the Golan Heights a day earlier.

About 150 insurgents in three vehicles surrounded a Fijian base camp near the crossing and demanded that our soldiers surrender and desert their camp within 10 minutes.

Instead, the soldiers were loaded into vehicles and hidden until today at an unknown location.

Fijian students, some of them whose fathers are among the captured, prayed for the soldiers’ release after a request by the acting Permanent Secretary for Education, Basundra Kumar, on Wednesday. Veiuto Primary School headteacher Mohammed Hanif said they sympathised with the soldiers and their families.

“We understand that this is a very crucial time for the soldiers and their families. The nation is also affected, so it is only right that we all join hands as Fijians to pray for the wellbeing of our brothers and fathers and their safe release,” Mr Hanif said.

He called on the rebel group to release the Fijian soldiers.

“Our soldiers were not there to fight them, they are there in their effort to keep the peace as our army officers in previous times had successfully done in other parts of the Middle-East and Lebanon for example,” he said.

Mr Hanif thanked the ministry for coming up with the thoughtful initiative.

Meanwhile, Ms Kumar encouraged all religious denominations to pray for the soldiers.

“We remember them because at one point in their life, they were part of our school system as students. In addition, most of them are very much part of our close family members and there is nothing else we can do now, but pray that the hands of the Almighty will keep them safe wherever they may be,” Ms Kumar.

“We hope that God will grant and comfort to the families and loved ones of these soldiers.”

Feedback: ana.sovaraki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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