Pressure has been growing on Malian troops over summary killings and rights abuses in a French-led assault on al-Qaeda-linked groups.
For African leaders who criticised French intervention in Cote d'Ivoire and Libya not too long ago, France's advance in Mali must seem a nightmare.
The West African bloc Ecowas has authorised the immediate deployment of troops to Mali a day after French forces began a military operation there.
A West African summit has agreed on a military force of 3 300 troops to wrest control of northern Mali from Islamist extremists.
Representatives of the Ansar Dine Islamist group in northern Mali are to meet the lead mediator as plans for military action take shape.
The UN Security Council is poised to adopt a draft resolution paving the way for military intervention in Mali on Friday, French officials said.
West African leaders are growing ever more impatient with Mali's political crisis, which has seen extremist rebels seize more than half its territory.
The Economic Community of West African States says it will probe the attack on Mali's interim leader, threatening sanctions against those involved.
The chief negotiator for Ecowas says Mali's junta has accepted that the current interim president will stay in office until new elections can be held.
Ecowas has imposed sanctions on Guinea-Bissau after talks with its ruling junta aimed at restoring constitutional order after a coup broke down.
Guinea-Bissau's junta and opposition parties have pressed on with plans for a transition, despite international calls for a return to democracy.
The Guinea-Bissau army and opposition parties have agreed to set up a transitional body to run the country ahead of talks with regional powers.
Mali's interim leader Dioncounda Traore has plenty to prepare for after ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure resigned as part of a deal with Ecowas.
Ecowas has voted Côte d'Ivoire's Alassane Ouattara as its chairperson, just over a year after he won an election that sparked a four-month civil war.
President Goodluck Jonathan has considered enteingr the race for chairperson of the African Union after Gambia pulled out of the running this week.
Yahya Jammeh scored a landslide win in presidential polls on Friday, securing a fourth term at the helm of the tiny state.
Côte d'Ivoire's former president Laurent Gbagbo has been placed under house arrest, while the of sound weapons rocked Abidjan once more on Tuesday.
As African presidents met in Côte d'Ivoire to end the crisis, President Jacob Zuma was mobbed by angry youths to highlight their problems.
Côte d'Ivoire's incumbent leader filed a lawsuit on Monday against Ecowas for recognising his rival as the winner of the country's elections.
A high-level panel named by the African Union faces an uphill battle in agreeing a unified stand on Côte d'Ivoire's political crisis.