Anger in France over 'civil war' warning

a person wearing a suit and tie: 'We are talking about the survival of our country,' the anonymous signatories told Macron © Philippe LOPEZ 'We are talking about the survival of our country,' the anonymous signatories told Macron

The government of French President Emmanuel Macron reacted with fury Monday after a group of serving French soldiers published an open letter warning that "civil war" was brewing over his "concessions" to Islamism, weeks after a similar message from elements in the military rocked the elite.

Emmanuel Macron wearing a suit and tie: French President Emmanuel Macron is facing an election next year © Ludovic MARIN French President Emmanuel Macron is facing an election next year

The letter, posted on the website of the rightwing Valeurs Actuelles magazine late Sunday, echoes the one published by the same publication last month but appears to have been written by an unknown number of younger troops still in active service.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, a close ally of Macron, condemned the second letter as a "crude manoeuvre" and accused its anonymous signatories of lacking "courage".

But it was welcomed by far-right leader Marine Le Pen, seen as Macron's main rival for next year's presidential election.

She had also been blamed by some in the government over the previous letter, which was signed by a handful of officers and around 20 semi-retired generals.

- 'Generation of fire' -

"We are not talking about extending your mandates or conquering others. We are talking about the survival of our country, the survival of your country," said the latest letter, which was addressed to Macron and his cabinet.

The authors described themselves as active-duty soldiers from the younger generation of the military, a so-called "generation of fire" that had seen active service.

"They have offered up their lives to destroy the Islamism that you have made concessions to on our soil," they wrote.


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Anger in France over 'civil war' warning