The RFMF is united and we are all on a common page - Commander
We understand that going back to coups will take us back 100 years – Major General Kalouniwai

The RFMF is united and we are all on a common page - Commander

We understand that going back to coups will take us back 100 years – Major General Kalouniwai

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 20/07/2023
Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Major General Ro Jone Kalouniwai

The Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Major General Ro Jone Kalouniwai stresses that the RFMF is united and they know that going back to conducting coups will take Fiji back 100 years.

In an interview with fijivillage News, Major General Kalouniwai says he wants to make this very clear to the people of the country as they are a united institution.

“Everybody in the RFMF is united on the direction I’m taking them on.

It is a collective understanding within the RFMF. We are all on a common page. I have spoken to my Commanders.

I have my Commanders who are calling and messaging me giving me their support.

People are just trying to use information that there is disunity. No, there isn’t. There is a united front within the RFMF.

We understand that going back to conducting coups is something that will take us back 100 years.

This country has come a long way. We have had so many governments that have come, that have developed this country, that have taken it to a higher platform, we have a current government that is in place today.

There is an opportunity for them to take this country to another higher place, and that is something we want to keep intact.”

The Army Commander says the RFMF does not have the answer to solving political issues because it is not their domain.

“The RFMF has to stay within bounds of it’s military responsibilities and that is important.

That is the message that I’m continuously giving members of the RFMF that we at all times must remain apolitical. We must stay away from political discussions, and that is the way we should be moving forward.

We have a strategic plan in place that allows us to modernise the RFMF to become a lot more professional. We are in continuous discussions and dialogue and commitments with other defence partners who are helping us with our modernisation process.”

Major General Kalouniwai stresses to the people of the country that none of the propaganda material that is being circulated on social media to create uncertainty, has been authored by the RFMF, however they are well versed with the tactics of those behind this misinformation.

Major General Kalouniwai also stresses that the RFMF believes upholding the rule of law is critical for the country, and this will also discourage the spread of all this propaganda and misinformation coming up from some people.

“The more we advocate to the rule of law and democracy, I think it will help us to undermine this message of misinformation that is going out.

Upholding the rule of law is very important for us today. It ensures that no individual, no group is above the law.

It provides this country with a framework for resolving a lot of conflicts very peacefully and it protects human rights, it allows us to maintain stability and order in our society today.

I believe if the RFMF can champion that rule of law, then we help foster trust, not just within the RFMF but also within these independent institutions that is trying to make the whole government process work.

And also at the same time, discourage the spread of propaganda and that is key to this aspect of rule of law because it reinforces the importance of accountability and justice for everyone.”

Major General Kalouniwai says the RFMF had earlier opted not to talk directly on the propaganda material where the author or authors are trying to turn lies into truth.

“This is one of the reasons why we have been silent for quite some time. It is just that we believe that when people out there send out propaganda material, such misinformation on social media, the worst thing you do is respond to it. It only adds fire to the fuel that they want to burn.

Propaganda material is something when you pay attention to can cause a lot of psychological damage when it exploits one’s way of thinking the bias, one’s cognitive biases, and it can manipulate one’s emotions and it can also come to an extent where it starts to distort reality where the truth becomes a lie and a lie becomes the truth.”

The Army Commander says this is something that is not good for the general public.

He says they are well versed with these tactics, as it’s something used when they have been in East Timor, Lebanon and Sinai where they use information operations and are very selective in the media theme that they throw out, and the whole intent is to change the mindset of the people.

Major General Kalouniwai says the way we are looking at things happening, it is throwing the same narrative.

The Commander says most of these things in the propaganda material are based on assumptions, not on facts.

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