Saturday, October 13, 2012

Withdraw RFMF Officers from all Governance Structures

Edwina Kotoisuva

Fiji Village News

Shamina Ali
The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre has called for the total withdrawal of the Fiji Military Forces from all current governance structures and the reduction in the size of the RFMF.

While making their submission to the Constitution Commission today, Crisis Centre officials, Shamima Ali and Edwina Kotoisuva said this is necessary to ensure a free and non threatening process in the return to democracy.

The Women's Crisis Centre has also recommended for the resignation of all serving military officers in the public service and those intending to enter the political arena for the 2014 elections.

They said a mechanism has to be established for dialogue between the elected government and the military to facilitate the process of re-establishing civilian control and resolving any disputes or misunderstanding.

The centre said this mechanism must adhere to the accepted principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Ali said the Crisis Centre proposes that there should be a gradual reduction in the size of the military bearing in mind there are no external threats.

The centre claims in its constitution submission that there are misconceived fears about challenges to the government's authority and it's obsession with stopping dissenting voices which has resulted in the invocation of the Public Emergency Regulation.   

The centre also calls for the strengthening of human rights protections in the 1997 constitution.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

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