Yellow jackets: what will the armored gendarmerie serve against the protesters? - LCI - LCI

KEEPING THE ORDER – In anticipation of the Yellow Vests demonstration, Saturday in Paris, the police prefecture will use a dozen armored vehicles of the gendarmerie, already mobilized on the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes but never in the capital Edouard Philippe he confirmed it on Thursday evening on TF1. On 1 December these vehicles had been pre-positioned in the barracks but not used.

Edouard Philippe confirmed this Thursday evening on the set of the 20H TF1: "a dozen wheeled armored vehicles" of the gendarmerie will be deployed on Saturday in Paris, while Elysee says he fears "violent" demonstrations in the streets of the capital. This is the first time for a Parisian police operation.

If the Ministry of Armies excludes the strengthening of the army for the operations of maintenance of the order because "it is not its mission" nor its "formation", the arrival of these "armored wheeled vehicles" of the gendarmerie "(VBRG) is the sign of an exceptional situation. These vehicles, available in number 70 throughout France, actually have different functions: freeing the road from any barricades when they are equipped with a "blade", to protect the police from launching bullets or even shooting, but also to launch gas tear.

Used once in France, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes

"Since 1975, the VBRG has equipped the mobile gendarmerie, an armored vehicle that protects small arms from infantry fire at 100 meters, and is particularly used during police operations and may even be engaged in military counter-terrorism operations, in external operations or even in the operational defense of the territory ", can be read on the website of the national gendarmerie. "He owns equipment that allows him to shoot the turret, throw tear gas grenades under the turret, spread tear gas into the machine, project the light in front of an opponent, or support a unit to allow the transport of a group of military of the mobile gendarmerie in police or combat configuration.

The previous uses of VBRG are recent: the denial of the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. in an interview with West of France in July 2018, General Lizurey, director general of the national gendarmerie, said that "with Notre-Dame-des-Landes, it is the first time that they exist that have gone out into the metropolis for the maintenance of order". The general indicated that these tanks had allowed to dismantle the "210 barricades in total", some in flames, which surrounded the site of the future airport, which had since been abandoned.

The tanks have already been prepositional Saturday, December 1 in the barracks in Paris

According to an LCI government source, these tanks had already been placed in a barracks in Paris on Saturday 1 December. But their use had never been mentioned. General Lizurey explained why, during his hearing by the Assembly's Law Commission on December 3: "It did not seem advisable to engage armored vehicles at this stage," he argued then, because "armored vehicles on wheels they must be engaged in special situations, in front of the direct fire on the troops – this allows to progress under the armor – or to push a certain number of barricades that may have been installed ".

"We usually use them for rescue missions, for example during the snowfalls, so far we have put them in reserve but this is the first time we engage them.Overway, however, they are used regularly, for example an extremely important armored component in New Caledonia because the VBRG can clean the streets with their blade, "said the head of the gendarmes.

The vehicle was also used outside the French territory, says the gendarmerie site: "He has been successfully engaged in joint operations in Kosovo, where he distinguished himself in the restoration of the order and the Republic of the Costa Rica. ; Ivory, where he distinguished himself in the evacuation of citizens ".

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