French President Emmanuel Macron has been criticized for his “neo-colonial, paternalistic, and condescending” demeanor by the military government in Mali. Mr. Macron was instructed by the junta to stop criticizing the Malian army and inciting “ethnic hate.”

This comes after Mr. Macron said last week during his trip to West Africa that it was the obligation of the regional powers to make sure the Malian people could “assert the sovereignty of the people.”

Mr. Macron also criticized Mali’s denial of Russian mercenaries’ presence there.

What this means
According to Col. Abdoulaye Maga, a government spokesman, “the transitional administration requests that President Macron resolutely reject his neo-colonial, paternalistic, and condescending position to recognize that no one can love Mali more than the Malians.”

The purported “hateful and slanderous” statements accusing the Malian army of killing civilians during recent operations were also denounced by Bamako.

Despite the Malian government’s denials, it criticized Mr. Macron for making “erroneous” claims.

According to Human Rights Watch, a massacre of civilians was allegedly carried out in late March in the central town of Moura by the Malian army and Russian paramilitaries.

Over the past year, there has been a major deterioration in ties between Paris and Bamako.

The junta forced France to leave Mali after nine years of combating militants there.

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