French government ask for reservists

Sunday, 17 July, 2016 - 12:00

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve urged French civilians Saturday to join the military reserves to help the country tackle a wave of terrorist attacks that have befalled France in recent months.

"I want to call on all French patriots who wish to do so, to join this operational reserve," said Cazeneuve adding that France's "operational reservists" include French citizens with or without military experience as well as former soldiers.

His call comes after many French citizens have criticized the government for not doing more to protect innocent bystanders.

Meanwhile French President Francois Hollande said Friday that reservists would be called upon to boost the ranks of police and gendarmes.

The operational reserve is currently made up of 12,000 volunteers, 9,000 of whom are within the paramilitary police and 3,000 in the regular police force, said Cazeneuve.

"We are going to reinforce the presence of security forces across the country," he added.

He said the number of security forces deployed to protect the population was nearly 100,000, including 53,000 police, 36,000 para-military police and 10,000 soldiers.