25 Aug 2006

French military helps in French Polynesian shipping strike

5:45 pm on 25 August 2006

The French military is shipping about 140 people to Rapa island after they were stranded in the French Polynesian capital because of a strike and occupation by the former GIP intervention force.

The people from Rapa had to be accommodated in Tahiti schools because the disgruntled former GIP have blockaded the headquarters of the territory's fleet in Papeete.

As a result, some outer islands have been running short of basic supplies.

The French administrator of the Austral islands has told the news agency Tahitipresse that the vessel going to Rapa is a public service in response to an exceptional event.

The ship is expected to return with about 70 people who are in need of medical attention in Tahiti.

The dispute between the former GIP workers and the territorial government is before the court but one of the protest leaders has said they will blockade all of Papeete if the court upholds their dismissal.