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Fiji sends more UN peacekeepers to Israel

FIJI has announced it will send a further 380 troops to join a UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights, lifting the Pacific nation's contribution to 562.
The move comes after several countries withdrew from the peacekeeping force because of escalating violence stemming from the Syrian conflict.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama says the additional soldiers will leave for the tense border between Syria and Israel in the next few weeks, the Fiji Sun reported.
"They'll leave before the end of this month," Bainimarama said during a state visit to the Solomon Islands, the newspaper reported.
Japan and Croatia have already pulled out their contingents and Austria, previously the top contributor with almost 380 soldiers, is in the process of doing the same.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week said he was "seriously concerned" about the force's dwindling numbers.
The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force has been monitoring a ceasefire between Syria and Israel in the Golan since 1974, but violence has escalated as the Syrian conflict spills over into the area.
Fiji's military has a long history of contributing to UN peacekeeping forces but Bainimarama said last month that the Golan Heights deployment was potentially the most dangerous mission they had faced.


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