French Military Chief of Staff Hints Soldiers Who Signed ‘Civil War’ Letter Should Resign

Europe

On Sunday, the news magazine Valeurs Actuelles published a letter from French servicemen on active duty in support of their retired colleagues, who previously warned Paris of a possible collapse of the country due to alleged laxity in security and anti-extremism policies.

French Army Chief of Staff General Francois Lecointre has hinted that those active soldiers who signed an open letter warning of the risk of a “civil war” in France should resign from the armed forces.

In the letter to President Emmanuel Macron published by the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles on Sunday, the servicemen, whose names were not disclosed, supported a previous appeal by the country’s former military personnel, who urged Macron’s government to act against the dangers of Islamism and religious fanaticism.

The general did not threaten to impose any sanctions on the servicemen, but said that “over the past several weeks […] the obligation of discretion for members of the armed services has been largely violated”.

He also warned that “every soldier enjoys freedom of thought but must unambiguously distinguish between civic and military duties”.

The remarks came as French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin accused the anonymous signatories of the second letter of lacking the audacity to put their names on the document.

Darmanin was echoed by French Defence Minister Florence Parly who claimed in an interview with the same news channel that the letter was “part of a…

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