Mali's neighbours are anxious to avoid the fragile Sahel state spiralling into chaos.

A man holds a national flag as he celebrates with others in the streets in the capital Bamako after a mutiny in Mali.
A man holds a national flag as he celebrates with others in the streets in the capital Bamako after a mutiny in Mali. (AP)

West African leaders hope to see a civilian-led transition government installed in Mali "in days" after talks with the military junta that seized power last month.

"We need a civilian leadership of the transition," Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo, who currently chairs the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), told journalists after the meeting in Ghana on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Ousted Mali president Keita leaves country as transition talks begin
"The minute that leadership is put in place through the processes they themselves have agreed upon in Mali, the sanctions that have been placed against Mali will be lifted by ECOWAS."

Akufo-Addo said that an ECOWAS mediator would travel to Bamako in a week and the 15-nation bloc wanted the process finished. 

"I'm hoping that by the time he gets there these things would have been completed," the Ghanaian leader said.  

"We're talking hopefully in days not in weeks."   

READ MORE: Mali opposition rejects junta-backed transition charter

ECOWAS slapped sanctions on Mali after the August 18 coup, closing borders and banning trade and financial flows, and called for elections.

READ MORE: Mali junta supports charter that may appoint soldier as interim president
The bloc had given the new military rulers until Tuesday to name a civilian president and prime minister to head a transitional government.

Junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita, who was appointed interim head of state, attended the talks in Ghana on his first trip abroad since his seizure of power.

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara insisted the meeting had made progress by "confirming that the president and the prime minister must be civilians".

"As soon as they are designated, we will lift the sanctions," he told journalists. 

Mali's neighbours are anxious to avoid the fragile Sahel state spiralling into chaos.

Last month's coup - Mali's fourth since gaining independence from France in 1960 - came after months of protests stoked in part by Keita's failure to quell a militant insurgency that has plagued the country since 2012. 

Source: AFP