9 Sep 2005

Report critical of French Polynesia's GIP force

3:32 pm on 9 September 2005

A preliminary report on a review of French Polynesia's 1,300-strong GIP force is recommending major changes within the organisation, which was set up under a previous government.

The report was commissioned by the government in April and prepared by a lawyer, Christiane Athane.

A copy of the findings was leaked to the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles de Tahiti.

It has criticised the GIP for not respecting labour laws and international maritime legislation when it went to provide disaster relief to Pacific Island countries.

Mrs Athane recommends major structural changes, including splitting the GIP into two main departments, one for land operations, the other for maritime interventions.

The GIP has also harboured a spy cell which served the former president, Gaston Flosse.

Since his demise earlier this year, GIP members led a former GIP boss, Rere Puputauki, have staged three rebellions against the new government by blocking the port and depriving Tahiti of fuel.