BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — A member of the Islamic High Council in Mali says that about 50,000 people are marching in the capital to pressure the government to form a transitional unity government.

Bamako resident Mahamane Maiga says that he participated in the march because the government is losing time to regain the north, which has been taken over by Islamists groups trying to impose Shariah law.

Moussa Ba, the president of the council's youth league, says that the prime minister's decision to not step aside for the transformation of a unity government is hampering efforts to reclaim the north, and he must work with the president to form such a transition.

A 3,000-member military intervention force assembled by the West African regional bloc is awaiting a formal request for intervention from Mali's Interim President Dioncounda Traore, who will make the request once the unity government is formed, according to officials. The bloc gave the country until Aug. 10 to form a unity government.