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Monday, January 29, 2007

PIF Eminent Person's Group begins fact-finding mission in Fiji

The Pacific Island Forum Eminent Persons' Group (EPG) met with Fiji's President and interim Prime Minister today as it starts its fact-finding mission on Fiji's recent coup.

The group, led by Vanuatu's deputy Prime Minister Sato Kilman, is expected to visit ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase at his island home on Mavana, Lau on Thursday.

Key stakeholders will also make submissions to the group, including representatives of the Great Council of Chiefs, judiciary, business community, media, civil society and Forum member countries in Fiji.

At the end of its four-day visit, the group will submit a report on what is needed to return Fiji to democratic rule.

Other members of the group are Samoa's Environment Minister Faumuina Luiga, Papua New Guinea's retired Chief Justice Sir Arnold Amet, and General Peter Cosgrove who is the retired Chief of the Australian Defence Force.

The EPG was first mandated in Sydney last year, with the hope of mediating a peaceful solution between then Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and military commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

The objective now is to make recommendations for a way forward towards peace and stability.

Source: Fijilive

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