COVID-19

Republic of Fiji Military Forces Troops Bound For Sinai Return

The 168-member contingent left Fiji last Friday on a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft. They were to serve in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO).
23 Mar 2020 11:54
Republic of Fiji Military Forces Troops Bound For Sinai Return
Troops turned back from Egypt at the Nadi International Airport on March 22, 2020. Photo: Mereleki Nai

A Republic of Fiji Military Forces contingent had to return home after Egyptian authorities denied them entry at Sharm El Sheikh Airport, Egypt.

The 168-member contingent left Fiji last Friday on a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft. They were to serve in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO).

RFMF Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto said the troops would self-quarantine over the next 14 days.

“They flew on the Australian Air Force Aircraft from Nadi to Darwin and to the Maldives but had to return because Egypt had closed the airport at Sharm El Sheikh.

“The troops in Sinai will hold and we will wait until the Egyptian authorities allow flight into Sharm El Sheikh.”

Egypt had suspended all flights into and out of the country’s airports from March 17 through March 31 as it puts in place measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Egypt on Friday registered a total of 285 COVID-19 cases and eight deaths.

Upon arrival in Darwin for refuelling, the troops were isolated for 24 hours.

Prior to departing the Maldives, they were given notification from Egypt that they won’t be able to land.

The only option for the Australian Air Force was to bring the soldiers home.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: mereleki.nai@fijisun.com.fj

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