Twenty retired French generals call for MILITARY RULE in the country

Christian Piquemal, stripped of his privileges by army chiefs

Piquemal, 80, a former general of the Foreign Legion, leads the signatories of the furious letter addressed to Emmanuel Macron.

He was stripped of his privileges as a retired officer after he was arrested at an anti-immigration rally in Calais in 2016.

Also in attendance were members of the anti-Islamic Pegida movement.

Christian Piquemal speaks at a rally in Calais in 2016. The rally was attended by Pegida, an anti-Islamic movement which originated in Germany

Piquemal denied knowledge that Pegida were also going to be there and denied his protest was racist. 

The general was said to have been the de-facto leader of the rally but was later acquitted by a judge, while others were handed fines. 

Piquemal, who retired in 2000, was stripped of his right to wear the uniform and lost his military officer’s ID card. However, his rank was not withdrawn. 

Emmanuel de Richoufftz, ‘general of the suburbs’

A graduate of the prestigious Saint-Cyr military school founded by Napoleon, de Richoufftz served as aide-de-camp to French Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy from 1981 to 1984.

He served in Iraq, Africa and Bosnia.

He is known as the ‘general of the suburbs’ after penning a book titled Another Late War in 1992.

Children celebrate the visit of French General Emmanuel De Richoufftz during his visit to the central Ivory Coast area of Sakassou in August, 2003

Children celebrate the visit of French General Emmanuel De Richoufftz during his visit to the central Ivory Coast area of Sakassou in August, 2003

The general sought to alert the public to ‘real ghettos on the outskirts of cities’, warning that intervention was needed to integrate disadvantaged young people.

He represented Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party in local elections in Le Grau-du-Roi in 2019.

Last year he ditched Le Pen’s party to join up with Debout la France (‘France Arise’), a right-wing Euro-sceptic party.

Antoine Martinez, former air force general

Martinez was also embroiled in the furore over the Calais rally organised by Piquemal in 2016.

He hosts the Volunteers for France website.

In a video filmed in November last year for the Volunteers for France Youtube channel, Martinez described how the coronavirus crisis masked what he believes is the more pressing matter of Islamic radicalisation. 

He wrote in an accompanying article: ‘There is no point, in fact, to project our soldiers into external theatres to protect us, if our leaders give up, despite the evidence, to name the enemy, and to fight him on our soil.’  

Antoine Martinez, former air force general

Antoine Martinez, former air force general

Francois Gaubert

Francois Gaubert, Le Pen ally

Gaubert, 77, another graduate of the elite Saint-Cyr officer training college, spent four decades in the Navy on operations abroad, including in Africa, the Indian and Pacific Oceans, in Berlin after the fall of the wall and in Sarajevo, at the end of the war in Bosnia.

He retired in 2002.

He joined Front National in December 2012 and was a candidate in council elections in Montpellier.

He was elected as a councillor in 2015.

Today he is National Rally councillor in Occitanie. 

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