Mali's Tuareg rebels abandon Algeria-hosted talks

A Tuareg man and his daughter stand next to a tent in the desert, during the 19th Ghat Festival of Culture and Tourism, in Ghat, in the Libyan desert, south of Tripoli. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

BAMAKO: Leaders of a Tuareg rebel group in northern Mali say they have withdrawn from negotiations with Mali's government scheduled to take place in Algeria after faulting the terms of the talks.

Attaye Ag Mohamed, a spokesman for the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, said Friday the organization's representatives left Algeria after concluding the talks were intended to emphasize reconciliation before addressing the group's political grievances.

Tuareg rebels and al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists took over northern Mali in 2012. Though a French-led intervention last year scattered the Islamic extremists, the NMLA retains a strong presence in the northern Mali city of Kidal.

The NMLA has continued to lobby for autonomy while authorities in Bamako want to bolster the government's presence throughout the country.





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