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Kava Palava: Fiji coup strongman appointed Australian Army deputy commander

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Senior Fijian military officer Colonel Penioni ‘Ben’ Naliva has been appointed as deputy commander of the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade.


Colonel Naliva, who graduated the Australian War College in 2023, is also facing numerous accusations of human rights abuses and torture allegations relating to his time under Fijian coup leader and former Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

Yikes.
 



Yikes.


Ryan Gosling Whistle GIF
 
To play devil's advocate:

Allegations are not proof of anything. The losing side of the coup accused him of things, and in the following five years none of the allegations have been proven with evidence. It could just be a case of the losing side attempting to smear the leadership of the winning side. Look south of the border for evidence of how often that happens....

Also, bear in mind that even if there is some possibility of some of the allegations being true, Australia is keen to keep regional nations on their side of the China/Western divide. Maintaining good relations with Fiji is likely more important to Australian foreign policy than keeping his accusers happy.
 
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