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The World : Fiji Regime Ousted in Coup

May 14, 1987

A Fiji army colonel led 10 soldiers into Parliament in the South Pacific island state, proclaimed a military takeover and had Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra and his Cabinet taken to an unknown destination. In a broadcast later over Fiji radio, the coup leader, identified as Lt. Col. Sitiveni Rabuka, offered assurances that the officials were safe and said he expected that they would be released after a caretaker government was formed. The coup came a month after an election that brought to power a government controlled by ethnic Indians, who make up about 49% of Fiji's 715,000 population. Since then, protests had been organized by Fijians demanding constitutional changes to guarantee Fijian leadership.

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