18 French soldiers to face military court for warning civil war in open letter

The letter pinned the blame on “fanatic partisans” for creating divisions between communities while alleging that Islamists have taken over whole parts of France.

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Eighteen French soldiers will face a military court for signing an open letter warning of a “civil war” in the country due to religious extremism.The letter pinned the blame on “fanatic partisans” for creating divisions between communities while alleging that Islamists have taken over whole parts of France.According to François Lecointre, the armed forces’ chief of staff, the soldiers could be “de-listed” or “put into immediate retirement”.

The letter said, “The hour is grave, France is in peril” and was published in a right-wing magazine on the 60th anniversary of a failed coup on April 21.Florence Parly, the minister in charge of the French armed forces hit out at the letter, claiming that the military ought to be neutral and loyal.”Two immutable principles guide the action of members of the military with regard to politics: neutrality and loyalty”, Parly tweeted.

She also said that any signatories that still serve in the military would face punishment for defying the law which mandates soldiers to remain politically neutral.”For who have violated the duty of reserve, sanctions are planned, and if there are active soldiers among the signatories, I asked the chief of staff of the armed forces to apply the rules… that is to say, sanctions,” she told radio network France Info on Monday.

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