Former Fiji army chief allays fears of rift

THE former Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, BrigadierGeneral Mosese Tikoitoga, has poured cold water on any suggestion of a rift between the military and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s Fiji First-led Government. In a move which caught many by surprise and which fermented widespread public speculation, Tikoitoga’s resignation on Friday the 31st July was announced by Prime Minister Bainimarama who said the former army chief was earmarked for a diplomatic posting.

Tikoitoga has been replaced, in an acting capacity, by his Chief of Staff Commander Viliame Naupoto. Naupoto, who has been promoted to the rank of Commodore, served as Cabinet Minister in the Bainimarama government in the years between 2006 and Fiji’s return to Parliamentary democracy in 2014. Speaking about his resignation to the local media, Tikoitoga said it came after much discussion with Bainimarama and Naupoto, who rejoined the army after failing to win a parliamentary seat in Fiji’s September 2014 General Election.

He said it has always been a personal ambition to serve Fiji as a diplomat and as a result of a likely opening he opted to cut short his 33 year service with the military and continue his service to the country in a different field. “There are some diplomatic postings opening up this year and after consultation with my family, I applied and I’m grateful to the government for accepting my application.

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