Coup in Fiji

The Fijian Army has removed the Prime Minister and government in a coup. The tensions between the army and government stem from a government plan to give an amnesty to leaders of an ethnic Fijian coup attempt in 2000, that the army helped to stop and plans to reserve particular land for ethnic Fijians. The army feared such moves would destabilise racial tensions on the island (50% Fijian, 44% Indian) and in a recent election on these issues the vote split on racial lines. During the dispute the ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, had tried and failed to remove the coup leader, Cmdr Frank Bainimarama, as head of the army. The coup has been roundly condemned.