NEWS

Fijians Find Ways To Make Friends In Lebanon

Alivereti Senibau from Nadoi, Rewa went on two peacekeeping tours to Lebanon, the first in 1978 and the second from 1979 – 80. The 70-year-old said there were set rules
17 Jun 2018 12:30
Fijians Find Ways To Make Friends In Lebanon
Alivereti Senibau after the The 40th anniversary of Fiji’s commitment to UN Peacekeeping Operations march on June 16,2018.Photo:Simione Haravanua.

Alivereti Senibau from Nadoi, Rewa went on two peacekeeping tours to Lebanon, the first in 1978 and the second from 1979 – 80.

The 70-year-old said there were set rules to follow, but they had to find their own way to meet and mingle with villagers in Lebanon.

“They were very good people and they love to be with us Fijian peacekeepers,” he said.

Mr Saivou, who is now in a wheel chair, said during his tours to Lebanon the allowance was very little, nevertheless he was proud to represent Fiji.

He said the Lebanese people were very close to the Fijian soldiers.

“We helped them and they helped us.”

Mr Saivou’s eldest son Maniata Domole said his father was looking forward to the parade because he wanted to meet some of his colleagues.

“He had met with some of them and they were just talking about their days in Lebanon,” Mr Domole said.

Another member of the First Battalion that served in Lebanon, Alowesi Kaleca, said he worked in the signal department.

“I joined the RFMF in 1971 and resigned in1989,” he said.

During the celebration yesterday Mr Kaleca said he remembered Taione Mariwa from Nasegai, Kadavu, Rupeni Biudole from Totoya, Lau and Beci Tagitaqou from Nasekula, Labasa.

“They have all passed away, and I only wished they were here with me today,” he said.

“As peacekeepers we were very close to each other and offered help when anyone needed it.”

He resigned in 1987 and joined the United Nations till 2012.

Mr Kaleca said while with the UN he was assigned to many peacekeeping areas and also to where Fijian soldiers served.

“I was in East Timor before the Fijians arrived,” he said.

“I was also in Sudan when Fijians arrived.”

Mr Kaleca was also at the Gulf War, Russia and Afghanistan.

He hails from Tabuya Village in Kadavu. Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj



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