The Ethnic Composition of the RFMF
Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga says currently there are around 1,200 personnel on peace keeping missions in Iraq, Sinai and the Golan Heights. Because of Fiji’s reputation in peace keeping duties, soldiers are on demand, and according to Colonel Tikoitoga, the RFMF are starting to feel the pinch. “To have 1,200 soldiers overseas, you need to have in Fiji, roughly three to four times more than the amount. So that when you bring one back, he can come and stay for four years, after everybody has made their rounds then he can go back. But with the current numbers that we have, you bring one back, and you have to send the guy back in roughly 12 to 18 months because we just don’t have the numbers.” Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga says the recruitment drives that are to happen at year’s end and next year, are critical in ensuring the RFMF have enough soldiers on hand. “It’s not only to replace those in the Golan Heights but to keep the soldiers numbers at a reasonable level where we can rotate people in the future and continue to provide and sustain our commitment to peace keeping missions. Click here for a related story.
No mention is made of whether there will be a special effort —or indeed any effort—to redress the unbalanced ethnic composition of the military forces where Indo-Fijians are all but unrepresented. Previously, the military has said Indo-Fijians are not interested in joining the military forces.
I would like to hear what readers think of this assertion, and say why they agree, or disagree, with this statement: "The ethnic composition of Fiji's disciplined forces —the military, the police and corrections service—and the public service should more closely reflect the ethnic composition of the country's population?