The Fiji Times

Troops off to NSW


MORE than 50 soldiers from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces departed the country yesterday headed for fire-ravaged New South Wales in Australia.

The soldiers were farewelled by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Inia Seruiratu who reiterated Fiji’s commitment to helping Australia recover from the fatal bushfires that have claimed the lives of people and a large population of wildlife.

“The prayers of the Fijian people have been with our friends in Australia from the moment the bushfire crisis ignited across New South Wales,” he said.

“Our hearts go out to all those who have lost homes, property, businesses and loved ones to this catastroph­e.

“As a part of our Pacific family, we knew it was incumbent on Fiji to offer our assistance to the Australian people during this unimaginab­ly difficult time.

“Once on the ground, this contingent will assist in any way possible with the national response effort underway in Australia, including by clearing debris and opening access to regions severely-impacted by the wildfires.”

He said while the troops being deployed to Australia were engaged in assisting wherever they could, soldiers were also on standby to assist in Tropical Cyclone Tino recovery.

“I’d like to thank the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) for his quick and efficient response to mobilise a contingent to respond to the bushfire crisis in Australia.”

 ?? Picture: SUPPLIED ?? A soldier farewelled by his family members yesterday.
Picture: SUPPLIED A soldier farewelled by his family members yesterday.

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