NEWS

Our Troops Ready To Help Lebanon, Says PM

Nuclear explosion, shook its capital – Beirut – killing dozens, injuring thousands and flattening buildings yesterday morning (Fiji time).
06 Aug 2020 09:48
Our Troops Ready To Help Lebanon, Says PM
Results of the explosion that rocked Beirut, Lebanon.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday assured Lebanon, in a tweet, that our Fijian UN peacekeepers were in the region ‘ready to help in any way we can’.

Mr Bainimarama’s comments come after a big explosion, which international media reports likened to a nuclear explosion, shook its capital – Beirut – killing dozens, injuring thousands and flattening buildings yesterday morning (Fiji time).

The incident happened around 6:10pm on Tuesday (Lebanon Time).

Mr Bainimarama tweeted: “Fijians are saddened and stunned by the devastating explosion at Beirut Port in Lebanon.

“Our prayers are with the families of the victims, the thousands who have been injured, and the staff of @UNIFIL. Our peacekeepers in the region are ready to help in any way we can.”

Fiji does not have any deployment in United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) except for one officer. But the closest UN peacekeeping mission for our troop is in the Golan Heights under the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

However, in Lebanon, 11 Fijians working there are safe.

A Republic of Fiji Military Forces soldier, Major Saula Koro, is based at the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) headquarters in Naqoura.

Major Saula Koro.

Major Saula Koro.

It is about one-and-a-half hours drive from the blast epicentre.

Major Koro is a Staff Officer at UNIFIL’s Joint Logistic Operation Centre (JLOC).

Commander RFMF, Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto said he spoke with Major Koro yesterday.

Ten other Fijians are employed with the United Nations. Nine are based in Tyre. Rear Admiral Naupoto said he also spoke with Eremasi Lovodua who assured that he was safe. He is based in Beirut.

Most of the United Nations civilian staff are former RFMF employees.

They are:

  • Jope Kikau
  • Apimeleki Rubuti
  • Soko Tikosaya
  • Sairusi Lolorua
  • Waisale Tabuavou
  • Josefa Naciva
  • Tikiko Seruwalu
  • Jese Manuku
  • Eroni Matanikoroca
  • Eremasi Lovodua – Beirut.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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