Your NPR news source

Fiji Coup

On December 5th, Fiji's military leader, Frank Bainimarama, overthreew Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.
There's been two other recent coups in Fiji. One in 1987 and another in 2002. Both had to do with tensions between the indiginous Fijian majority and the more economically powerful Indian Fijian community, which comprises around 40% of the population.
In both previous copups, the plotters were indigenous Fijians deposing Indo-Fijians they felt had infringed on their indentity and rights.
But this time the coup is different. The coup plotter, Commadore Bainimarama, is an indiginous Fijian, but he often sides with the Indo-Fijians.  Also, Bainimarama overthrew an indigenous Fijian government that had just been elected in May. Last Thursday, Bainimarama named himself interim prime minister.  He's now named several cabinet ministers, including the controversial former Indo-Fijian prime minister who was overthrown in 2002, Mahendra Chowdry.
Jerome spoke with Jon Davies, a professor of economics at Acadia University.  He's written about the sources of inter-ethnic conflict in Fiji.

More From This Show