Commander hopes RFMF’s process will encourage the nation to reconcile with what happened in the past
Lines had gone so blurred, some in the RFMF did not understand their role

Commander hopes RFMF’s process will encourage the nation to reconcile with what happened in the past

Lines had gone so blurred, some in the RFMF did not understand their role

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 21/03/2024
Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Major General Ro Jone Kalouniwai

As the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Major General Ro Jone Kalouniwai embarks on reconciliation, trust, peace and healing efforts within the RFMF, he says it requires very strong and transformational leadership where leaders lead by example and motivate the troops to understand the real essence on why they have been called to be soldiers.

While speaking on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan, the Commander says 1987 was an epoch moment (or a period of time in history) for the RFMF and Fiji because the decisions that were made by the RFMF leadership did not only have the impact on the RFMF but the nation as a whole.

He says it was the beginning of that continuous involvement of the RFMF in government and the political environment within Fiji.

Major General Kalouniwai says when you come down to the 2000 coup, again that is an outcome of what happened in 1987, and then again in the 2006 coup.

The Army Commander says the issues are interwoven and complex, and there are political, economic, social, legal, security and traditional issues.

He add this makes it a lot more complex when it comes to command responsibility.

Major General Kalouniwai says he hopes the RFMF’s reconciliation process will encourage the nation that we need to reconcile with what has happened in the past.

He says has always told the troops that the RFMF has it’s own values, ethos, principles and standards.

The Commander says every soldier coming in is coming with their own imperfections and it is the responsibility of the institution to ensure that they understand the RFMF’s culture.

Major General Kalouniwai says when the culture took a new turn since 1987, it had it’s impacts as it was deviating from the traditional path of the RFMF.

He says the lines have gone so blurred that at times, people in the RFMF did not understand their role.

The Commander also says the constitutional provision which states that it shall be the overall responsibility of the RFMF to ensure at all times the security, defence and well-being of Fiji and all Fijians, needs to be clearly understood and to ensure actions are done within the rule of law.

He says the military laws are currently being reviewed.

The Commander says they are trying to protect the institution when it comes to the well-being part of the constitution.

He says the well-being part does not provide the left and right of arc.

Major General Kalouniwai says in the RFMF, soldiers including the Commander have to operate within that.

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