Colonel Tuinaosara highlights RFMF's potential role

May 16, 2024 4:54 pm

National Talanoa Session on Responding to Illicit Drugs in Fiji Symposium

The growing drug problem in society has reached a critical stage, prompting the consideration of the direct involvement of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to combat the issue.

This has been highlighted by Republic of Fiji Military Forces Director Legal Colonel Kitione Tuinaosara during the National Talanoa Session on Responding to Illicit Drugs in Fiji Symposium while speaking on behalf of RFMF Commander Ro Jone Kalouniwai, who couldn’t make it to the event.

Colonel Tuinaosara says the involvement of the RFMF is a deterrent, and security measures raise concerns about the risk associated with the RFMF’s intervention in the absence of sufficient legislative support.

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He adds that it is imperative to strategically determine how RFMF can best address the drug crisis as a national security concern while mitigating the potential repercussions.

“In response to the escalating drug epidemic, the proportion of direct involvement of the Republic of Fiji Miliatry Forces has put forth a potential strategy to combat drug-related crimes and activities. This proposal includes the utilization of fire arms as a deterrent and a means of enhancing security measures in tackling the drug issue.”

Colonel Tuinaosara says the prospect of the RFMF’s engagement raises critical questions regarding the risk involved, particularly in the absence of robust legislative support and clear guidelines governing military intervention in civilian matters.

He adds that as we navigate this juncture where the drug problem has evolved into significant national security concerns, it is imperative to explore how the RFMF can be effectively mobilized and utilized to confront the challenges posed by illicit drugs while ensuring accountability, legality, and protection of fundamental human rights.

He adds that this introduction sets the stage for an in-depth examination of the complexities surrounding the RFMF’s role in addressing the drug epidemic and is an essential consideration that must be taken into account to safeguard both societal well-being and military integrity.