20 Aug 2005

French Polynesia intervention group lifts port blockade

7:27 am on 20 August 2005

The French Polynesian Intervention Group has lifted its blockade of the territory's main port and fuel stocks.

The GIP group's strike leader, Rere Puputauki, had already let fuel tankers through the barricade to allow the resupply of planes, ambulances and fire engines.

Mr Puputauki says the people of Tahiti have run out of petrol, bread and gas.

The end of the blockade comes several hours after the expiry of a deadline laid down by President Oscar Temaru on Thursday night.

In a televised address, Mr Temaru gave GIP members 24 hours to return to their duties.

It was the third blockade since March by members of the group, who are disputing with the presidency over who should be their boss.