French servicemen and women who put their names to an open letter, warning Emmanuel Macron of impending “civil war” due to the rise of Islamic extremism in the country will be punished, declared the head of France’s armed forces.
General Francois Lecointre pledged punitive action against the 20 retired French generals and active service personnel who signed the letter which claimed France was in “mortal peril” due to “disintegration with the Islamists”.
“Even in retirement, we remain soldiers of France and cannot in the current circumstances remain indifferent to the fate of our beautiful country,” the letter which was published in Valeurs Actualles magazine read.
“There is no time to waffle,” it warned, “or tomorrow civil war will put an end to this growing chaos and the dead, for whom you will bear responsibility, will be counted in the thousands.”
Published with an initial 1,200 signatories, over 8,000 French service personnel had signed the letter by Thursday.
The head of France’s armed forces Lecointre told Le Parisian the generals, despite having left active service – they remain currently in the reserves – they were still required to remain impartial politically and as such claimed they had broken their “duty of service”.
“Each one (will go) before a senior military council, ” Lecointre told the newspaper, warning they could be “delisted” or demoted from the reservists and forced into immediate retirement. Those signatories who are still in active service face dismissal, Lecointre added.
The comments from the generals came in the wake of the brutal murder of a female police officer last week in Rambouillet, as a Tunisian migrant screaming “Allahu Akbar” slashed her throat at the entrance of a police station.
The letter was endorsed by Macron’s rival for next year’s presidential election, firebrand nationalist Marine Le Pen, who has called for widespread reform to “support our police, expel the illegals and eradicate Islamism”.
Another endorser was the Paris mayor of the 7th arrondissement, Rachida Dati who insisted that “what is written in this letter is a reality.
“When you have a country plagued by urban guerrilla warfare, when you have a constant and high terrorist threat, when you have increasingly glaring and flagrant inequalities … We cannot say that the country is doing well.”