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Date Posted: 21:10:57 12/05/05 Mon
Author: Vikki John
Subject: Bougainville - and the six Fijian 'mercenaries'

Postcourier, 6 Dec 05

Fijians’ bid to get out remaining six

ONE of the Fijians “taken” to Port Moresby has returned to Bougainville in the hope to persuade the remaining six to get out of their Siwai hideout. The Fijian High Commission in Port Moresby yesterday confirmed the trip, which took place on Saturday, but would not say if the person was Fereti Rokodi or Semi Baroi. One of the two Fijians is now on Bougainville, accompanied by Emosi Rakai, the second secretary to Fiji High Commission in Papua New Guinea. But Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Vice President Joseph Watawi denied having any knowledge of the Fijians’ return to the island. But Mr Watawi said if the return to Tonu was for a good reason then they would help, adding that if the trip was for any other purposes, it would not be welcomed. He reaffirmed the ABG’s stand for the other Fijians to leave the region by December 20, but could not explain how that would be done. Bougainville police also raised concerns that they were not informed of the trip, although they confirmed that the two men had arrived on the island. Police said the visit should have been made known to them. “They are not here in Buka. They must have left straight away for Tonu,” the police said, adding they still did not have information on who had travelled. “Whether it is the two that were plucked out of Tonu or with the representative from the Fiji High Commission. But we were told they came back on Saturday. “Things like this we should know about so that we can assist in any way because when they came from Tonu, we interviewed them and we had reached some understanding.”

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