Other Releases
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Washington, DC
October 20, 2008


[This material is no longer current. Updated data will be posted.]

Map and flag of Fiji

Background: Fiji became independent in 1970, after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987, caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). The coups and a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control of Fiji, led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties, but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian, but a civilian-led coup in May 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. Re-elected in May 2006, Qarase was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, who initially appointed himself acting president. In January 2007, Bainimarama was appointed interim prime minister. (Source: CIA—The World Factbook)

Security Assistance Funding: (Source: 2009 Congressional Budget Justifications for Foreign Operations)

Fiji has not been designated to receive Security Assistance Funding in FY 2008.

Direct Commercial Sales: (Source: 2007 Section 655 Report)

In FY 2007, the Department of State authorized no exports of defense articles or services to Fiji.



[This is a mobile copy of Fiji]