Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Fiji to develop Counter-terrorism Strategy

The Fiji Government is reviving counter-terrorism efforts through the development of a National Counter-terrorism Strategy and Counter-terrorism Bill.

This has been highlighted by the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs and Immigration Mason Smith, who said the overall aspiration of the counter-terrorism strategy backed up by its legal framework is to promote peace and stability in Fiji and the region, through whole of society and nation approach that involves all key stakeholders at all levels.

Smith said the Government and security agencies must always be prepared for the worst-case scenario, rather than being comfortable under a false sense of security.

He said we have witnessed that since the September 11 attacks in the United States, the London subway bombing in the UK, the Lindt café hostages in Australia and the Christchurch incident in New Zealand in 2019, the trend is descending towards our domain where our proximity mean we are strategically attractive to these terrorists to operate from or even perpetrate attacks against nationals as was the case in Bali.

He said Fiji’s tourism industry is highly reliant on New Zealand, Australia, and Europe, these markets heighten the risk in Fiji.

“With the imminent threats of terrorism and violent extremism on our shores, given that Fiji is a diverse and multicultural nation and is not immune to changes in the nation and is not immune to change in the national, regional, and global security landscapes.”

Smith said to tackle this issue, we must tackle this issue, and we all need partnership and collaboration from both domestic and international agencies.

He added to provide the full range of tools through enhancing our law enforcement agencies, security intelligence, cybersecurity and other operational agencies with the capacity and capabilities backed up with robust policies and legal powers to combat terrorist threats.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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