Mali has summoned France’s ambassador to the country to register its “indignation” at French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent criticism of the country’s government, which is dominated by army figures. Tensions between France and its former colony Mali have been high since it emerged that the Sahel state is in talks with Russian mercenaries. Mali voiced its displeasure to the French ambassador on Tuesday. These frustrations were on full display at the UN General Assembly last month, when Choguel Kokalla Maiga, Mali’s interim prime minister, accused France of a “sort of abandonment in full flight” over its decision to reduce its military deployment in the semi-arid Sahel region. Macron later told French media that Maiga’s comments were “unacceptable” and suggested that Mali’s government was “not even really one” – because of the coup in Mali led by Colonel Assimi Goita in May. ‘Indignation and disapproval’: The war of words continued on Tuesday when Macron called on Mali’s ruling military to restore state authority in large areas of the country abandoned in the face of the armed uprising. “It’s not the role of the French army to fill in for the ‘non-work’, if I may describe it, of the Malian state,” he told French media.