The Peace and Security Council of the African Union, during a meeting in Addis Ababa, adopted a resolution calling for a 12-month transition in Mali and the sanctity of the country's territorial integrity.
Members of the Economic Community of West African States met last week in Burkina Faso to discuss ongoing turmoil in Mali. Rebels declared autonomy for northern Mali following a military coup early this year.
ECOWAS, in a recent statement, called on political and civil leaders in Mali to make proposals to interim President Dioncounda Traore for the formation of a unity government.
The AU council, in its meeting, endorsed the call from ECOWAS to the U.N. Security Council for the deployment of regional forces to Mali under a Chapter VII resolution.
ECOWAS recently called on the International Criminal Court to conduct an investigation into alleged war crimes committed in Mali.
World heritage sites in Timbuktu are under attack by northern rebels, some of which are aligned with al-Qaida. Some rebel groups said many of the sites are considered un-Islamic.