9 Jun 2006

Former head of French Polynesian intervention force threatens blockade of Papeete port

9:50 am on 9 June 2006

The former head of French Polynesia's intervention force, the GIP, has threatened to block the access to the port of Papeete in a fresh challenge to the authority of President Oscar Temaru.

Tahiti's Radio One reports that Rere Puputauki has taken issue with the presence of officials of the presidency in the area of the port where the now dissolved GIP has had its base.

The GIP was dissolved at the beginning of this year after repeated insubordination and prolonged blockades of Tahiti's main port.

The GIP was set up by the former President, Gaston Flosse, and grew to include hundreds of members.

Meanwhile, firefighters at Tahiti's airport have ended a week-long strike which was triggered by a call for a general strike by two key unions protesting against the high cost of living.