Uncertainty in Mali after military coup - Africa - Al Jazeera English The soldiers who toppled Mali's president earlier this week face growing isolation, even as the coup leader is trying to assure the public that he is in control. A delegation of UN and African officials have told those behind the internationally condemned coup to hand back power. A joint mission of the African Union (AU) and the West African regional bloc ECOWAS are in negotiations with the rebel soldiers, Paul Lolo, the chairman of the AU's Peace and Security Council, told Al Jazeera on Saturday. "[The mission] is in negotiations with the rebels and it is our hope that they will listen to reason and return Mali to constitutional order without delay," he said. "This [coup] has been an insurgency, a seizure of power by force. There was a legitimate government in Mali. That government is still legitimate in our view because that is the government we know according to our instruments." Mutinous soldiers seized the presidential palace and Mali's state television on Thursday, saying they were dissatisfied with President Amadou Toumani Toure's handling of a rebellion by Tuaregs in the north of the country. Lolo said the coup leaders had to step aside to ensure Mali moved forward in an orderly manner, but he said direct military intervention was not being contemplated at the moment.