At the Ministry of the Armies, in Paris, there is only one motto: "Branle-bas de combat! La Grande Muette, as the French army is nicknamed, does not like to put a nose in what it considers to be "its" affairs. What, vulgar civilians would like to have their say on foreign operations and arms sales to friendly countries? No way. The biffins will show what firewood they warm up to those insolent journalists who dare to investigate their activities. An investigation was opened by the Paris prosecutor for "compromising the secrecy of national defense" after the transmission to a media of a note classified "confidential defense" evoking the use of French weapons in Yemen.
Leclerc tanks used
The investigation was initiated on December 13, 2018 following a complaint by the Ministry of the Armed Forces, and investigations were entrusted to the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), said a judicial source. It aims at a compromise involving a depositary and a third party. The note in question – a report of fifteen pages revealed on April 15 by the online media Disclose, who said he received it in October 2018 – was written on September 25, 2018 by the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM) . It lists in particular the weapons sold by France that would be deployed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Yemen, scene of a deadly conflict since 2015.
The revelation made by Disclose, in partnership with Arte Info, the investigative cell of Radio France, Konbini, Mediapart and The Intercept, shows that Leclerc tanks, one of the jewels of the French armament, are used in the offensives by the Saudis and Emiratis. In addition to Leclerc tanks (whose use would have made at least 55 civilian deaths), we must add the 48 Caesar guns (35 civilian deaths at least), Damocles pods (targeting devices), Mirage 2000-9 fighter planes , the Cougar and Dauphin helicopters, as well as a frigate and a missile corvette (of French manufacture) which participate in the naval blockade of the port of Hodeïda, thus starving the population.
We understand that the government of Édouard Philippe is all the more up in the niche, sword bright if we can say, under the watchful eye of General-in-Chief Emmanuel Macron, that so far Paris says that these weapons do not are used only defensively "and not on the front line", in this war that has killed at least 10,000 people. Anyone who is normally constituted has a good idea that if Riad buys weapons while she is engaged in a conflict, it is not to keep them in crates or sheds, but to use and kill them. That's what weapons are for.
The Élysée and Matignon are embarrassed to the entournures. They are caught in the honey pot. So that the remarkable work of our colleagues does not make school, it is therefore appropriate to use the deterrent force. In this case, Geoffrey Livolsi and Mathias Destal, co-founders of Disclose, and Benoît Collombat, of the investigation cell of Radio France, are summoned on May 14 by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI). With this precision written in black in the convocation: the offense of which journalists are suspected is "an offense punishable by imprisonment". For Geoffroy Livolsi, "this judicial inquiry has only one objective: to know the sources that allowed us to do our work. It is an attack on the freedom of the press and the protection of journalists' sources ". For their part, the editorial staff of the offending media note that "the confidential documents revealed by Disclose and its partners are of major public interest. That of bringing to the attention of citizens and their representatives what the government wanted to hide ". Almost all journalists' societies (SDJ) in France have given their support to their three colleagues and recall "how essential it is to strengthen the protection of sources in France".
PCF pleads for embargo
This is freedom of the press. But also opacity of the foreign policy of France, who would like to trade in death without being accountable to anyone. Because, if journalists carry out such investigations, it is primarily because even the national representation is kept apart. Neither the deputies nor the senators, especially those who sit on the Defense Committee, can report the information they have. And "the allocation of export licenses is entirely in the hands of the executive," as reminded by communist parliamentarians, socialists and FI in a forum published April 19 in Libération, asking "the establishment of a parliamentary delegation to participate in the decision-making process "for the allocation of these export licenses. Recall that between 2015 and 2017, nearly 3.4 billion euros of weapons were delivered to Saudi Arabia. As early as October 2018, the PCF pleaded for an immediate embargo on French arms sales to members of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Yemen. Dozens of NGOs also call for an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia. If the money may not smell, the jagged bodies of Yemeni children certainly have one.