Former President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to lead a team of ECOWAS envoys to Mali for talks following the recent coup in the country.
According to a member of the new junta and an ECOWAS source, the leaders are expected to arrive in the West African country on Saturday.
The source described the mission to Bamako as aiming “to help the search for solutions,” days after mutinying soldiers took over power in Mali.
“We will receive the ECOWAS delegation with pleasure… it is important to talk to our brothers,” a junta official in the country told AFP on Friday.
Recently, there have been a series of protests by Malians who took to the streets of the nation’s capital despite rainfall and pleas from mediators to stay home, demanding the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Amid the lingering unrest in the country, Keita was overthrown on Tuesday by mutinying troops, who took him, Mali’s Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, as well as other senior government officials into custody.
The coup has sent shockwaves around the West African sub-region, sparking fears that one of its most volatile states could collapse.
President Keita, who seemed to have bowed to pressure, said on Wednesday that he had stepped down to avoid “bloodshed”.
Two days after the Malian leader was taken into custody, the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced that it would dispatch a high-level delegation to the country.
The regional body explained that this would ” ensure the immediate return of constitutional order” in Mali, saying it would suspend the country from its internal decision-making bodies.
In their various reactions, Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, and other West African leaders condemned the action of the soldiers and demanded that Keita be restored as president.
The coup was also condemned by the African Union, the European Union, and the United Nations, among others.
On Thursday, UN human rights officials gained access to President Keita and the others, although the junta said it had released two prisoners, retaining 17 others.