Troops from Fiji to join Sinai peacekeeping force

Thirty-five officers from Fiji arrived in Cairo on Wednesday to join the multinational force stationed in Sinai, airport sources said.

The troops, who will replace another group whose mission ended a few days ago, will be transported to Sinai to begin their work as part of the peacekeeping force there, the Cairo International Airport sources said.

Eleven countries contribute troops to the Multinational Force and Observers, the monitoring force stationed in Sinai under the 1979 treaty signed between Egypt and Israel.

The force’s headquarters is in Rome, Italy, but it has offices in Cairo and Tel Aviv. Its troops patrol along the Egyptian-Israeli border.

Fiji, New Zealand, Colombia, Uruguay, Canada, Australia, Norway, Italy, France, Hungary and the US currently contribute troops to the force.

Dozens of armed Bedouin this month encircled a camp belonging to multinational peacekeeping forces in the Sinai for eight days before lifting their siege on Friday after negotiations with the Egyptian army.

The Bedouin had been trying to pressure Egyptian authorities to release tribesmen from jail.

The force consists of three infantry battalions consisting of around 2,000 troops. There is one from Fiji in mid-Sinai, another one from Columbia in North Sinai and a third one from the US in Sharm el-Sheikh.

In addition, there are minesweepers from Italy, jets and helicopters for logistical operations and medical evacuation purposes, and monitoring forces from Italy, France and other countries. These are stationed in Goura Airport, Ras al-Naqab and Nuweiba.

Translated from MENA

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