ARMY WARNS MACRON

Military group warns President Macron that the survival of France is at risk

Stark warning to French President Emmanuel Macron.
Stark warning to French President Emmanuel Macron. Ian LANGSDON POOL/AFP

A group of serving French soldiers has published an open letter in a conservative magazine warning President Emmanuel Macron that the "survival" of France is at stake because he has made "concessions" to Islamism.

Advertising

The letter, published in the conservative Valeurs Actuelles magazine, echoes the tone of a similar warning printed in the same magazine last month. The earlier missive also predicted that civil conflict was brewing.

The previous letter, signed by a handful of officers and some 20 semi-retired generals, sparked a furore in France with the prime minister calling it an unacceptable interference, and France's top general vowing those behind it would be punished.

It is not clear how many people are behind the current letter or what their ranks are. In contrast to the previous letter, this one could also be signed by the general public.

"We are not talking about extending your mandates or conquering others. We are talking about the survival of our country, the survival of your country," said the letter, which was addressed to President Macron and his cabinet.

'Civil war is brewing in France . . .'

The authors describe themselves as serving soldiers from the younger generation of the military, a so-called "generation of fire" that has seen active service.

"They have offered their lives to destroy the Islamism to which you have made concessions on our soil."

The signatories added they had also served in the security operation launched after a wave of attacks in 2015. They observed that for some religious communities "France means nothing but an object of sarcasm, contempt or even hatred."

The letter continues: "If a civil war breaks out, the military will maintain order on its own soil... civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well."

'A failure of honour and duty to the army'

The letter comes ahead of next year's polls where Macron's main challenger is expected to be far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Prime Minister Jean Castex had labelled the rare intervention in politics by military figures in last month's letter "an initiative against all of our republican principles, of honour and the duty of the army".

France's armed forces chief of staff General François Lecointre said those who signed the first document will face punishments ranging from forced retirement to disciplinary action.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning