Peacekeepers on the move

June 2, 2016 by Henry Benjamin
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Peacekeepers in Sinai are being moved from the north to south due to escalating violence by Islamic State militants.

New Zealand base in Sinai

New Zealand base in Sinai

The Americans have moved their soldiers and there are plans in place to bring all 338 Fijian troops home following their move from north to south.

The soldiers are part of a Multinational Force and Observers [MFO] whose mission is tp supervise the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israel Treaty of Peace.

An Australian defence spokesman told J-Wire: “Twenty-five Australian Defence Force (ADF) members working under Operation Mazurka are assisting the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai, Egypt.

The security situation and force protection of ADF personnel are monitored on a daily basis in response to the specific tasks and conditions faced in each operational location.

The ADF will not discuss force protection measures in detail for operational security reasons.”

New Zealand’s Minister for Defence Gerry Brownlee told J-Wire: “We have concerns of the heightening activities od ISIS in the area. We are reconfiguring MFO and are using electronic surveillance. The Egyptians are taking the situation very seriously and I have spoken recently to both my Egyptian and Israeli counterparts.

The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt must be maintained.

Most of our contingent have  been moved to the south camps and we will review the situation in late July/August.

Saying that the situation is being constantly monitored, Defence Minister Brownlee added: “We will see how successful the configurations are and have no other immediate plans.”

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key will visit Fiji next week.

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