ECOWAS and the military junta which seized power in Mali are reported to have reached a deal in which the country's president and the coup leader will both stand aside.

A group of low-ranking soldiers lead by Captain Amadou Sanago ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22, just weeks before he was due to step down after an election, citing his mishandling of the north as a primary reason for launching the coup.

In the weeks following the coup Tuareg rebels and Islamist fighters, have captured the northern regions of Mali, with the Tuareg declaring an independent state of Azawadon Friday.