Christian Piquemal, the charismatic former commander of the French Foreign Legion, and more than 1000 other former and active French military personnel have made a dramatic appeal to the French public.
More than 100 high-ranking active and former officers of the French armed forces and more than 1000 other French military personnel warned in an open letter of the possibility of civil war in France. “The violence is increasing day by day,” says the appeal, referring to the murder of the teacher Samuel Paty last year.
The danger comes from “Islamism and the hordes from the immigrant areas” as well as from a left-wing political milieu that preaches “anti-racism”. “There is no time to hesitate, otherwise the civil war will put an end to the growing chaos and the death toll will be […] in the thousands.”
The high-ranking former officers around the 80-year-old former commander of the French Foreign Legion, Christian Piquemal, declared themselves ready to “support politicians who guarantee the protection of the nation”.
The outcry of the political class in France was correspondingly loud. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, chairman of the Left Party, called the ex-soldiers “rebels”. Florence Parly, the French defence minister, has announced that she would be examining the possibility of action against all signatories of the Open Letter who are on active military service.
The French government is apparently having a look at how to counter the call.
“What seems most likely to me in this case are possible prosecutions for incitement to conduct contrary to duty and disciplinary action, as provided for in Article L322-18 of the Code of Military Justice,” explained Elodie Maumont, lawyer specializing in French military law.
Marine Le Pen, on the other hand, has been encouraged by the letter. She asked the signatories of the appeal to support her party in the upcoming French presidential election campaign.
Christian Piquemal headed the French PEGIDA movement at a large demonstration in Calais in 2016 and then lost the right to appear in public in uniform. A court acquitted him of the charge of having committed crimes however.
In a 2017 interview with reinformation.tv, Piquemal commented: “Immigration is massive, uncontrolled. This will lead to the disappearance of nation-states and populations […] The identity of large countries and in particular of France will disappear if an end is not put to this creeping Islamization which is due to uncontrolled immigration.”