French Overseas Territories
The French government has moved to scrap an army intelligence unit that until now, was designed to specifically monitor politicians and journalists in the French overseas territories, including the three French Pacific dependencies of New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna.
Oceania Flash reports that French State Secretary for Overseas territories, Christian Estrosi, told French media at the weekend that the opportunity to do away with the low-key unit came up in December, when the unit's head contract expired.
It was then decided not to recruit a new holder for the post, after due consultation with the French President, the Prime minister and the Minister of Defence, French newspaper Le Parisien reported.
Estrosi said one of the grounds for the decision was that the sheer of the unit was now regarded as a "surprising exception".
The former unit was reportedly specialised in gathering "political intelligence"', specifically targeting both local MPs and elected representatives within the French Parliament's both Houses (the Senate and the National Assembly), but also members of the media.