NEWS

Our Soldiers In High Spirits

Despite rising tension between militant groups and the Egyptian government forces in parts of Sinai, Fijian personnel serving under the Multi-National Force and Observers (MFO) are in high morale and
31 Jul 2015 09:49
Our Soldiers In High Spirits
Members of the RFMF’s Second Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (2FIR) serving under the MFO in the Sinai with the visiting Fijian delegation.

Despite rising tension between militant groups and the Egyptian government forces in parts of Sinai, Fijian personnel serving under the Multi-National Force and Observers (MFO) are in high morale and spirits.

This was the observation made by the visiting Fijian delegation led by the Minister for Defence, Timoci Natuva, during their three-day visit in Sinai.

The delegation was also assured by MFO Force Commander, Major-General Thompson, of the Canadian Armed Forces of the support to reinforce and/or evacuate the MFO field sites manned by the Fijian contingent if and when necessary.

There are 338 Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) personnel serving in Sinai. They are part of the Second Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (2FIR).

Mr Natuva is accompanied by the RFMF Land Force Commander, Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho, and Commissioner of Police Ben Groenewald.

They are well aware that heightened activity in Sinai can be compared as equal to or more volatile to the other Fijian deployments in the Middle East.

“However, this has been complicated in recent days due to the presence of dominant militant groups and their surged activity in northern parts of Sinai where the Fiji troops operate,” a statement from the visiting delegation said.

“The Fiji contingent mans various field locations in the North and South area of operation responsible to Fiji in the top North of the Sinai.”

Apart from their normal operational tasks, the 2FIR have been given extra responsibilities to provide armed escorts to the Civilian Observer Units.

The MFO was established in April 1982 after the final withdrawal of Israel from the Peninsula. Israel had gained Sinai after the 1967 Six-Day War and 1973 Yom Kippur War with Egypt and its Arab neighbours.

The MFO draws its mandate from the Treaty of Peace signed on March 26, 1979 between Israel and Egypt and subsequent protocol in 1981 defined the MFO’s mission. After Sinai, the delegation will visit South-Sudan before returning to Fiji.

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 

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