Home » Uncategorized » “Let me tell you this, don’t mess with the RFMF,” Tikoitoga

“Let me tell you this, don’t mess with the RFMF,” Tikoitoga

Frank Bainimarama names new commander   

Last updated 18:30 04/03/2014

Frank Bainimarama

DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
LEADER: Fiji coup leader Frank Bainimarama.

    Fiji’s military strongman Frank Bainimarama has named a fellow 2006 coup plotter as the next commander of the country’s military forces.

Bainimarama, who says he is retiring from the Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) to run in democracy-restoring elections this year, named Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga to take over.

Meanwhile, the regime has ordered Parliament to move to another building after the elections.

An at times blustering man, Tikoitoga has remained loyal to Bainimarama ever since he was part of the military troika that overthrew a democratic government in 2006.

Tikoitoga last year played a key role in destroying a partially New Zealand-funded new constitution after its writers tried to limit the RFMF role in Fiji civil life.

Constitution drafts were burned and a new constitution was written.

“Let me tell you this, don’t mess with the RFMF,” Tikoitoga said at the time.

He rejected the proposal that soldiers should not have to follow orders they considered illegal.

Whether orders were right or wrong, they had to be obeyed and whoever gave the order would be responsible if questions arose over the order, Tikoitoga said.

“Soldiers sign an oath to follow orders and they will at all times abide by it,” he said.

He rejected any downsizing of the RFMF, which can call on up to 10,000 soldiers, saying cuts would not happen.

Tikoitoga said the military were cleaning up the government system and would not stop. “There is no turning back,” he said.

He became better known outside Fiji after he took over as president of the Fiji Rugby Union before to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

It resulted in Fiji’s worst-ever rugby performance and recently the International Rugby Board cut support funding it gave to Fiji over corruption issues.

All four of Fiji’s coups have had strong military involvement so the issue of who leads its 3500 active soldiers and 6000 territorials is important to stability.

Tikoitoga will formally take over in a ceremony in Suva tomorrow.

However, the reality will be that Bainimarama will still be the strongman in Fiji and the new military commander will be answering to him.

The ceremony will mark the end of Bainimarama’s military life.

Bainimarama joined the Fiji Navy in 1975 as an able seaman, rising to midshipman within a year.

He served with the Chilean Navy, serving on exchange on the sailing ship Esmeralda at the time it was being used by Augusto Pinochet’s regime as a base to torture political opponents.

 

    Unlike the bulk of the RFMF, Bainimarama never served in peacekeeping operations or in combat.

The only hostile fire he experienced was in November 2000 when, in the wake of the George Speight coup, his soldiers mutinied.

He escaped being killed by running down a bank. Three of his soldiers died and five rebels were killed – most of them after they surrendered.

Meanwhile, in an odd move, the military-appointed attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, yesterday ordered that any new parliament be moved out of its striking Fiji village-style compound in Veiuto in Suva, and return to its original home at the Government Buildings in downtown Suva.

The Veiuto parliament witnessed two coups – 2000 and 2006. The original parliament was seized by RFMF third in command, Sitiveni Rabuka, in an armed coup.

Both assemblies have bullet holes in their ceilings.

Veiuto would now become part of the courts system.

The return to the original parliament meant it was more accessible to the public.

“It is walking distance from the bus stand; it’s near the media organisations, closer to town so it provides lots more accessibility to members of the public,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

– © Fairfax NZ News

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11 thoughts on ““Let me tell you this, don’t mess with the RFMF,” Tikoitoga

  1. This poorly led Fiji military has essentially destroyed its own nation and the future of its children. Total farkwits!! You have to hand it to Khaiyum. He has really led these fools down the garden path to destruction.

  2. “Whether orders were right or wrong, they had to be obeyed and whoever gave the order would be responsible if questions arose over the order. Soldiers sign an oath to follow orders and they will at all times abide by it.”

    Knowing too well what this statement means for the military profession in a combat environment, we can clearly see what Tikoitoga’s spin to it in a non-combat Fiji environment! Its a clear concoction of a soldier’s allegiance to the command in the battled field to obeying orders regarding the overthrow of a government, including torturing and killing unarmed civilians. Without active combat role and only piecemeal peace keeping service to go by, the Fiji military establishment has deteriorated to this low standard! What Tikoitoga means in the above statement is this – Fiji soldiers don’t question the right or wrong of overthrowing elected governments or torturing and killing unarmed civilians. They abide by their oath to follow orders and that’s what joining the Fiji army and signing up oath is about. There is no problem for the one giving order as well because the precedent of creating another constitution to provide for immunity has been set to be followed!

    “He rejected any downsizing of the FMF, which can call up to 10,000 soldiers, saying cuts would not happen.”

    Again without any active combat role, the army has carved out for itself a future to be actively involved in the civil, corporate and public life of the country! This did not come by consent of the people, but from the military forcing its will on the people. The militarisation of structures and systems has been on the roll already, beginning with the offices of government (despite the promise that no military personnel will gain from the coup!) Ten thousand soldiers and more – with no active combat role – but merely living on tax-payers money and roaming the town streets and corridors of power to keep busy is certainly not an ideal scenario for Fiji.

    “Tikoitoga said the military were cleaning up the government system and would not stop. There is no turning back.”

    Here Tikoitoga really means that the army is going be in government for a very long time. It comes as an object of militarising the entire state bureaucracy and making sure all financial gains and rewards of state programs and projects will be centered in the top brass of the military! They will not turn back from it because this is where their security is, where their life is and where their future is. It is that old strategy of authoritarian military backed regimes that seize power through pointing guns at civilians and concentrating power and wealth unto themselves! This is very very far from the democratic ideals and values that Fiji really needs to see in practice, in order that all profit, particularly the needy and most vulnerable.

  3. Kainoqu, a definitive reply to a destiny already pre determined for Fiji by the military. I fear Fiji will go from one extreme to another, as the next “charismatic leader” will be a religious manic ruling with the same self entitled belief that they are doing it for the benefit of the country.

  4. The dictator is one man only, a coward.

    The people are 800000 who must rise up and bring despot to justice.

    now he only pretends to have power-he has no power.

  5. Bai is just repeating history, epeli ganilau choose bai to be the commander when he stood for election, he choose bai because he knew he was stupid and would manipulate him anytime for his own benefit , as we all know it didn’t turn out that way, now bai has chosen tikoitoga, knowing that he is stupid and could easily manipulate him anytime he wants ,but you will be surprised folks, tikoitoga will outsmart bai and hand him in to be charged to save his arse and become a hero.

  6. Tikotoga is the biggest thief in Fiji, he was chairman of HA -the mother of all scams-the waila city billioni dollar scam.

    The most corrupt man appointed comm

  7. Hahahahaha so happy Tikoitoga is commander,he once said don’t mess with army and that means all bloggers are on the loosing side again lols

  8. tiko is the most corrupt officer

    he must be investigated for the waila city billion dollar scam

  9. @ what a mess

    Yes we can certainly say that again – the poorly led Fiji military has led the whole country down the path to self-destruction! They have not only let the whole military establishment and what it should professionally stand for down, but are aiming at letting the whole country down too! Its a shame and rather sorry too that this current course of action that the army has forced on the people will only come home to roost in years to come, when the people will least expect its effects to rebound!

  10. fijii is pre 1874 – the bati roaming everywhere practicing cannabilism , it is economic now, only difference.

  11. with all the challenges , it is only proper and high responsibility for all Fijians to pray to GOD for favour , blessings and protection.

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