France hails Mali peace accord with rebels

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Tuesday welcomed the signature of an election and peace-talks accord between the government of Mali and certain rebel groups in the north of the country, notably Tuareg tribes.

France intervened militarily in Mali last January to prevent Islamist-led radical groups – with some support from Tuaregs – from overrunning the country after they had taken control of the northern half of Mali in a brutal insurgency.

Since the French forces, backed by several African armies, have more or less rid the country of Islamist-extremist fighters, Paris has been calling for a national reconciliation and fresh elections that would cater to all indigenous groups in Mali.

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