UN Negotiating With al-Qaeda on Release of Fiji Troops

Al-Qaeda Faction Wants It's Name Off Terrorist List

According to the Fiji government, the United Nations is engaged in negotiations with al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra fighters in Syria in an attempt to secure the release of 44 Fiji troops who were operating under the UN banner and captured last week.

The fate of the troops has remained unknown since their capture in the Golan Heights, but Nusra has reportedly assured them that they have been taken out of the combat area for safe keeping.

Nusra has issued multiple demands for the release of the Fijians, including a shipment of humanitarian aid for one of its territories near Damascus, and the group’s formal removal from the UN list of international terrorist organizations.

Since Nusra is formally affiliated with al-Qaeda, it is hard to imagine how they can be removed from the list, and particularly as a term for the release of hostages, but Fijian officials say the negotiations are ongoing and that the UN had given them assurances ever effort was made to secure their release.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.