France’s interior minister said Tuesday he would ask three right-wing extremist groups to be disbanded following violent demonstrations over the weekend.
Gerald Darmanin told France Inter radio station that he targeted a group called Division Martel and two others whose names were not disclosed.
The French government called for calm after the murder of a teenage boy at a village dance this month was followed by violent demonstrations by far-right groups.
The death of the 16-year-old, identified only as Thomas, was exploited by far-right groups, who described the killing as a symbol of the growing insecurity of French society.
People carry a banner reading “Thomas, in our hearts forever, we love you” in Romans-sur-Isere, France, November 22, 2023, during the “Marche Blanche” (White March) in honor of Thomas, the teenager killed in Crepol, November 19 2023. (OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE / AFP)
About 100 far-right activists traveled to the nearby town of Romans-sur-Isere on Saturday, police said.
They wanted to fight with youths from the La Monnaie neighborhood, where some of the alleged perpetrators of the Nov. 19 killing lived, police said.
Another far-right gathering in Rome was broken up by police on Sunday. A total of around 30 people have been arrested. “I will propose that a small number of groups be disbanded,” said Darmanin.
“There is mobilization of extreme right groups that could drag us into civil war,” he added.
An estimated 3,300 people in France are members of far-right movements, and 1,300 of them are on police watch lists, according to a recent parliamentary report. (ab/uh)