Fiji’s military ruler, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has ordered top Australian and New Zealand diplomats out for allegedly interfering in the country’s affairs.

Bainimarama, who seized power in a 2006 coup, has given the diplomats 24 hours to leave Fiji.

The move dramatically escalates a dispute about a group of expatriate judges from Sri Lanka that Fiji wants to hire.

Australia and New Zealand told the judges this week that if they take up the posts they would be subject to travel bans the two countries have placed on all senior officials in Bainimarama’s regime, because of the coup.

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