May 10, 2021 – 14:59
A right-wing magazine in France said more than 100,000 people had signed an open letter to a group of soldiers on duty warning of the threat of civil war in France.
The letter, published late Sunday in the “Valeurs Actuelles”, accuses the Government of “concessions” to Islam and says that the issue “has to do with the survival of our country”.
The magazine said nearly 133,000 people had signed the letter by Monday, at 1:30 p.m.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin – a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron – called the letter a “rude maneuver” and accused its signatories of lacking “courage”.
The government has also condemned a similar letter, published last month by some French officials and 20 semi-retired generals, considering it unacceptable military interference in politics.
France’s top general then vowed that those behind the letter would be punished.
The numbers and ranks of the initial signatories of the last letter are unclear.
They describe themselves as active soldiers of the new generation of the army who served in Afghanistan, Africa and elsewhere, or who joined the internal anti-terrorist operation, which started after a wave of Islamist attacks, in 2015.
The two letters come before the 2022 elections in France, when President Macron is expected to be challenged again by the leader of the far right, Marine Le Pen./REL