West African heads of state will gather for an emergency summit to discuss the military campaign against Islamist rebels in Mali, Ali Coulibaly, African Integration Minister for the Ivory Coast, said on Sunday.
An emergency contingent of troops from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was scrambled following France's military intervention in Mali on Friday and would start arriving in Bamako on Sunday, Coulibaly said.
The heads of state will come together to consult and to evaluate the situation.
Throughout ten months of Islamist rule, the people of Timbuktu risked their lives to preserve the artefacts of their ancient heritage.
Francois Hollande is due to visit Timbuktu during his visit to the West African country this weekend. He will be welcomed by many.
Downing Street have been explaining what offers the UK have made to the military effort in Mali.