Leaders of the West Africa regional grouping ECOWAS are expected to hold an extraordinary summit today to propose measures to resolve the political crisis in Mali.

The virtual summit comes after two missions to Mali’s capital, Bamako, failed to reconcile the government of embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and opposition groups demanding his resignation.

The Head of ECOWAS, Niger Republic President Muhammadou Issoufou had said he will be pushing for “strong measures” to help resolve the crisis.

The opposition coalition, a group called M5-RFP has however, rejected a proposal for the formation of a national unity government, insisting that Keïta must resign and a transitional government be set-up.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS leaders have insisted that any change of government in Mali must follow a constitutional process.

There are indications that the Mali crisis could have serious implications for regional security and stability. Many are concerned that the situation could play into the hands of armed groups in the country and the wider region if not properly managed.

President Keïta who was elected in 2013 appeared to be facing his biggest political challenge so far with the current crisis.