Five presidents from West African countries arrived in Mali on Thursday to try to negotiate an end to a political crisis there.
The leaders of Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ghana and Niger are meeting with Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and the opposition Muslim cleric Mahmoud Dicko.
Other opposition leaders are also expected to be in that meeting at a hotel in the capital Bamako, according to the mission schedule.
This month West African mediators helping to resolve the ongoing political crisis proposed a power-sharing government.
The mediators also proposed the setting up of a new constitutional court as agitations continue.
Protesters for weeks have been pouring on the streets demanding the resignation of President Keïta.
Earlier this month President Keita dissolved the constitutional court following unrest due to ongoing protests.
The top court is at the centre of controversy after it overturned provisional results for parliamentary elections in March.
The ECOWAS mediators say in the proposed unity government, half of the positions should go to the opposition and civil society groups.
The rest would be for members of the current governing coalition, according to the mediators.
Protesters have accused President Keita of failing to tackle Mali’s major crises including jihadist conflict, an economic crisis and the disputed elections.
Mali has for years now struggled to overcome the activities of terrorists with the region remaining unstable since 2012 when jihadist fighters seized the desert north of the country.
Although French troops helped to recapture the north, violence still continues. Not even the presence of United Nations troops will help restore order.
The West African leaders say they are acutely aware of the danger a destabilised Mali poses to the region.
Keita, who was re-elected in 2018 for a second five-year term, has struggled to address the security crisis.