Former RFMF Chief of Staff Jim Sanday to lead the review of Fiji’s national security and defence

Former RFMF Chief of Staff Jim Sanday to lead the review of Fiji’s national security and defence

By Rashika Kumar , Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 13/12/2023
Independent Review Lead Jim Sanday with Ratu Kamisese Mara. [Image: Ministry of Home Affairs]

Former Republic of Fiji Military Forces Chief of Staff Jim Sanday who was removed from his office during the 1987 coup staged by current Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, will now be the independent review lead of Fiji’s national security and defence review undertaken by the Government.

While making this major announcement, Minister for Home Affairs, Pio Tikoduadua says Sanday will report to him as the Minister and the National Security Council.

Tikoduadua says this is a civillian led process, not just a uniform process looking at Fiji in totality, and encompassing this as part of our defence is the role of the RFMF.

He says the selection of Jim Sanday, as the independent review lead heralds a new chapter in our journey towards a more secure future.

The Minister says Sanday is known by many Fijians as a distinguished figure with a career in the defence and security sector, and brings a wealth of expertise and reputation with uncompromising integrity to this pivotal role.

The key objectives through this review are to craft a national security strategy that not only outlines Fiji's national interests and goals, but also integrates core values and principles, ensuring that the roles of government agencies resonate with the national ethos, to identify and implement legislative and regulatory reforms in defence and security that are aligned with the national values, ensuring that these changes reflect the heart and soul of Fiji and to design a Security Sector Reform and Governance Programme under the auspices of the Ministry, which will not only align security agencies with government policies, but also ensure that these agencies operate in a manner that upholds and promotes cherished national values.

The announcement was made in the presence of RFMF Commander, Major General Ro Jone Kalouniwai.

Major General Kalouniwai says the review provides the RFMF with an opportunity to also review their own strategic plan and see how they can fit into the framework that the government is moving towards.

Tikoduadua says the review will provide a platform for Fiji to engage in an honest and open dialogue about national values and ideals.

He says this will allow us to ponder over questions like what principles do we hold dear and what aspirations drive the nation forward.

The review is expected to begin in February next year and a report is expected to be tabled in Parliament before November.


Former Republic of Fiji Military Forces Chief of Staff Jim Sanday

PM asking Sanday to apply shows his character - Tikoduadua

In 1987 Sanday was the last person standing with a Royal standard - Minister
By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 13/12/2023
Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration Pio Tikoduadua

Minister for Home Affairs, Pio Tikoduadua says Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka was very influential in the process and motivated Colonel Jim Sanday to apply to lead the review of Fiji’s national security and defence.

Former RFMF Chief of Staff, Sanday was a victim of the 1987 coup led by Rabuka.

Tikoduadua says the Prime Minister’s actions now speak of the character of the Prime Minister at this stage of leadership where the nation is the only thing he is looking at.

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