A leading African diplomat says a military intervention in the troubled nation of Mali is becoming more likely and called on the U.N. Security Council to support regional powers in such an operation.
Nassirou Bako serves as the foreign minister of Benin and as the spokesman for the current chairman of the African Union.
He made his comments in Ivory Coast, where a group of African leaders tasked with dealing with the crisis in Mali were meeting Thursday.
Mali, once considered a model democracy, was thrown off course by a March 21 coup and a subsequent rebel takeover in its north.
Bako said the "military option appears more and more inevitable, but this decision cannot be unilaterally taken by ECOWAS," the body that represents nations in West Africa.
He says ECOWAS members plan to draft a resolution to submit to the Security Council, in the hopes of having U.N. backing for a military operation in Mali.