Mali’s army-led government on Sunday urged French President Emmanuel Macron to abandon his “neocolonial and patronising” attitude as relations break down further between Paris and Bamako.
France is reconfiguring its posture in the Sahel after falling out with the military junta in Mali, the epicentre of a bloody 10-year-old jihadist campaign in the region.
Mali underwent coups in August 2020 and May 2021, creating a political crisis that coincides with an ongoing security crisis.
France first intervened in Mali in 2013 to combat a jihadist insurgency that emerged one year prior but earlier this year, Paris said it would withdraw its forces.
“The transitional government demands President Macron permanently abandon his neocolonial, paternalistic and patronising posture to understand that no one can love Mali better than Malians,” spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said on public television.
Maiga was responding on behalf of the junta after Macron’s remarks during a three-day visit to Benin, Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau last week.