In an exclusive report, Al Jazeera correspondent Hashem Ahelbarra follows the military commanders of five West African states as they try to convince the Mali coup's leader to give up.
Military commanders from the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) were dispatched to Mali to tell Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo that he should hand back the power he seized in a coup.
General Souleyman Bakayoko, ECOWAS Chairman of the Chiefs of the Staff, told Al Jazeera after their meeting with Captain Sanogo:
"They fully understand our position. Our condemnation was clear and so was our call for them to restore the constitutional order. They got the message and we came here to further stress our position."
Hashem Ahelbarra asked Captain Sanogo if he was worried that ECOWAS might use force to reinstate the president Amadou Toure:
Sanogo: "What are your sources?"
Sanogo: "In a diplomatic way I can also tell you it's not true."
Ahelbarra attended a rally in support of the coup and concluded:
"This is why [Sanogo] seems confident. The coup leader got a boost on Wednesday here in the capital when thousands of people converged on the independence square, to show him their support. They denounced what they described as international intervention. This was the first show of support for those behind the coup - and a crucial one. But it doesn't change the fact that Sanogo and his supporters face many challenges ahead."