Bamako, Mali (PANA) - Thursday's visit of the ECOWAS high-level delegation to Bamako, over the coup in Mali, has been cancelled over a security scare at the airport in the Malian capital, PANA learnt from sources close to the delegation.
Ahead of the visit, demonstrators backing the putschists were allowed to reach the air side of the airport, contrary to the commitment made by the junta.
''Understandably this created a security scare, forcing the heads of state to suspend their arrival,'' the sources told PANA on the condition of anonymity.
The West African leaders are likely to meet in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, later Thursday, with the possibility that they may try to visit Bamako again on Friday if the conditions are right.
The delegation comprises six West African leaders, who were asked to meet with the junta - following Tuesday's extraordinary summit of ECOWAS in the Ivorian capital - to reinforce the regional drive to restore constitutional order in Mali.
The delegation is led by ECOWAS Chairman and Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire, and include the Presidents of Benin, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Niger and Nigeria.
Ahead of the one-day visit, a seven-member delegation of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff, led by its Chairman, the Chief of Defence Staff of Cote d'Ivoire, Gen. Soumaila Bagayoko, arrived in the country on a "sensitization mission" and
are currently holding talks with representatives of the junta.
Other members of the delegation, which was constituted by regional leaders during the extraordinary summit, are the Chiefs of Defence staff of Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.
-0- PANA SEG 29Mar2012