|Al Nusra: Stolen UN vehicles.|
Fiji's rash desire for friends has come back to bite it on the bum.
Intel sources claim the captured Fiji troops radioed Israel for help but were turned away because of Fiji's decision to cement diplomatic ties with Iran (and North Korea) in 2012.
Sources say the captured men sought help from Israel but were told no cavalry would be coming because Fiji soldiers no longer had preferential treatment.
Negotiations are meanwhile underway for the release of the captured soldiers but it's not certain who is doing the talking to the radical Islamic group, Al Nusra.
Media reports suggest Fiji is leading the negotiations but
nothing has been confirmed with RFMF commander, Mosese Tikoitoga, reiterating only that they've had no contact with the men but are trying to get them released.
Tikoitoga has also revealed Fiji is training more men to send as replacements for the captured troops.
The decision is an unpopular one and has sparked more criticism of the RFMF, especially Tikoitoga who earlier this week broke protocol by revealing the commanding officer had weighed up his options and decided to act as a 'cat' rather than a 'tiger'.
The commander is believed to be Savenaca Siwatabu.
Al Nusra says in its statement it took the 45 troops because "UNDOF was aiding the government of President Bashar al-Assad and had ignored the suffering of the Syrian people."
It says it will release the men in exchange for humanitarian aid for Syria saying the 'detainees are in a safe place, and in a healthy condition."
Frank Bainimarama, who sent more than 400 men to Golan Heights last year knowing the mission was dangerous, has broken his silence to deny the troops were 'combatants' following wide criticism of the troop's decision to surrender, unlike the soldiers from the Phillipines who stood their ground.
Pictures of Bainimarama campaigning hard out in the past five days as he distanced himself from the capture have done him no favours. They show him to be cold and calculating and not man enough to take responsibility for sending Fiji to war. Bainimarama only made a nationwide speech on the captured men yesterday, four days after the soldiers were taken prisoners.
Also unpalatable these past few days were pictures of Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum playing up for the cameras on a Fiji First Fun Day in Nausori, a day after the men were captured.
|Playing to the gallery: Khaiyum throwing lollies at the Fiji First Fun Day|
Both will no doubt try to wash their hands of the fate of the 45 troops as they forge ahead with their charade of an election to maintain their illegal reign.
Update 2 September: Captured soldiers names released
PTE Timothy John Anthony
PTE Apisalome Rokotakala Waqa Balawakula
PTE Mosese Bevu
PTE Kasimiro Bose LCPL George Rodney Burt
SGT Viliame Cavubati
PTE James Danford
CPL Sakiusa Kamikamica
PTE Talaiyasi Koro
LCPL Josefa Lewenilovo
PTE Nemani Matevakaloloma
PTE Apenisa Muavesi
LCPL Waisea Nabotiloma
PTE Orisi Nasomia Naio
LCPL Josefa Naivola
WO2 Marika Nakicobula
Capt Simione Qionibaravilala
Capt Savenaca Siwatibau
CPL Nasi Vilani Racaca
LCPL Sanaila Radevo
PTE Semi Radrodro
PTE Tevita Kaloulasulasu Rakabu
PTE Manasa Rasalato
PTE Atanio Vereti Ratucoko
PTE Panapasa June Ravai
CPL Paula Ravuso
CPL Tevita Madakiliva Rokobuli
PTE Aminisitai Rokoli
CPL Niumaia Romala
PTE Petero Samuela
PTE Severo Saqacala
PTE Jemesa Saqamaitoga
PTE Sevuloni Busa Duikete Sereinagata
PTE Ratu Emori Tunaosara Tagivakatini
PTE Maika Takavesi
PTE Eparama Tamanivakabuta
CPL Manasa Leone Taraki
PTE Jowasa Togavou
CPO Laitia Usa
PTE Ratu Emosi B Ranatawake
PTE Mosese Lekanagata Vatanitawake
PTE Iosefo Iferemi Vilolo
PTE Asaeli Ratusema
PTE Jone Wainiqolo
AB Ilitomasi Nawalu Waqavonovono