"L’heure est grave, la France est en péril, plusieurs dangers mortels la menacent. Nous qui, même à la retraite, restons des soldats de France, ne pouvons, dans les circonstances actuelles, demeurer indifférents au sort de notre beau pays. . . On le voit, il n'est plus temps de tergiverser, sinon la guerre civile mettre un terme à ce chaos croissant, et les morts, dont vous porterez la responsibilité se compteront par milliers."
One of those who signed the letter was the former commander of the French Foreign Legion, General Christian Piquemal. The general had already sparked controversy by participating in a protest against migrants in the French port city of Calais, which once hosted the infamous “Jungle” migrant camp -- a source of great tension with locals.
The French Defense Minister, Ms. Florence Parly had already threatened to impose "sanctions" against those high-ranking officers who signed the open letter. Also, General Piquemal received a severe reprimand from General Lecointre, who vowed to send him a letter telling the general that "He is unworthy, defiles the army and weakens it by making it a subject of national controversy. "
Moreover, General Lecointre went further: "I deny them all ... the right to make political statements emphasizing their rank" adding that these generals will each appear before a higher military tribunal. "At the end of this procedure, it will be the President of the Republic" he said " who will sign a decree for their early retirement."