The military-dominated Malian government has strongly protested against comments by European Council President Charles Michel who recently said the Malian state is in the process of collapsing after the breakdown of the military alliance with European countries against jihadists.
The Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported Monday evening in a statement posted on social networks that it had summoned the chargé d'affaires of the European Union delegation to Mali Pascal Perennec.
The ministry said it had notified him of the "strong protests" of Mali to the "unfriendly, erroneous and aggressive comments" of Charles Michel. The Malian ministry believes that these statements are part of a "disinformation campaign" underway against Mali.
The ministry does not specify which statements are targeted. But two diplomats said on condition of anonymity that he was referring to an interview given last week by the President of the European Council to TV5 Monde.
"The transitional authorities in Mali, which came out of a coup d'état, have decided to break to a large extent with traditional partners, and particularly with European partners, and the consequence is a state that is collapsing, with terrorists occupying more and more space in the region," Michel said.
The junta, which seized power by force in 2020 and consolidated its grip with a second putsch in 2021, has ended anti-jihadist military cooperation with France and its European partners and turned militarily and politically to Russia.
Mr. Michel's words contradict the junta's repeated assurances that the authorities have turned the tide against jihadists since pivoting to Russia.
Michel's words "omit the tangible progress made by the Malian armed forces on the ground," the Foreign Ministry said.