MEDIA RELEASE: FIJIAN PEACEKEEPERS TO MOVE FROM SYRIA TO LEBANON

More than a hundred Fijian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights will be deployed to Lebanon in the near future.

Speaking at the RFMF Commander’s Parade this morning, Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga said the troops will join the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) as early as the end of the month.

“There are preparations underway to commence peacekeeping efforts with UNIFIL. Towards the end of the year or early next year, we will deploy men from Golan Heights to Lebanon,” he said.

Commander Tikoitoga added that the RFMF has had a long and distinguished history of more than 20 years in Lebanon.

“I am grateful for the opportunity that we have been given to go back there,” Commander Tikoitoga said, “ but we will also need to prepare ourselves physically and mentally as next year the RFMF will be engaged in peace keeping operations in Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.”

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who visited the troops on the Golan Heights earlier this month during his overseas tour, commended the RFMF for expanding its commitment to international peacekeeping by re-joining the mission in Lebanon.

“For more than 30 years, Fiji has responded to the call of the UN to serve on peacekeeping missions around the globe. It is the source of great national pride that we are able to make a meaningful contribution to protecting the vulnerable and securing peace in some of the world’s most troubled regions,” the Prime Minister said.