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Mali tribal chief calls for peace on homecoming

An influential Mali tribal chief returned to his homeland on Saturday after two months in hospital in Morocco, calling for a decisive resolution to the deeply-divided west African nation's fragile peace process. Intalla Ag Attaher's tribes of the northern Ifoghas mountains were a key partner in the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), an armed collective of ethnic Tuaregs which rose up against the state in 2012.

Tuareg leader to Mali government: start talks or risk new revolt

By Emma Farge DAKAR (Reuters) - The leader of a new armed group in Mali's troubled north said the central government in Bamako could face another uprising of his Tuareg people if it resists pressure to launch long-delayed talks on the region's future. Mali exploded into violence when Tuareg separatist fighters tried to take over the north in early 2012. Islamist militants eventually occupied the region, triggering a French military intervention last year that drove most of the militants out.

Mali summons Russian ambassador over rebels' Moscow trip

Mali said on Tuesday it had summoned the Russian ambassador in Bamako to explain why Moscow agreed to meet members of an armed separatist group from the west African nation. A delegation from the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad (MNLA), led by its political head Bilal Ag Acherif, met Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Friday last week in Moscow, the rebel group said in a statement.

Conclude talks or see rebels radicalize, U.N. Security Council tells Mali

By Adama Diarra and Tiemoko Diallo BAMAKO (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council on Monday called on Mali's government and rebels conclude talks as soon as possible, warning that the failure to do so risked radicalizing fighters and undoing fragile security gains. Members of the Security Council visited Mali over the weekend to assess progress in stabilizing the country, a year after France dispatched thousands of troops to end an occupation of the north by al Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels.

Algeria to hold talks with Mali rebels over peace deal

By Hamid Ould Ahmed ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria will hold exploratory talks with rebel groups from neighboring Mali in an attempt to revive peace negotiations there, it said on Sunday, an initiative welcomed by Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Mali exploded into violence when Tuareg separatist fighters tried to take over the north and Islamist militants eventually occupied the region, triggering a French military intervention last year.

At least two Senegalese UN troops killed in Mali rebel bastion

At least two Senegalese UN troops were killed Saturday in a suicide attack in Mali's northeastern rebel bastion of Kidal, a day before a second round of legislative polls, a UN source said. The soldiers died when a suicide bomber ploughed his explosives-laden car into a bank that they were guarding. "For the moment, we have at least two dead and several wounded among the MINUSMA African troops," the source said on condition of anonymity, referring to the UN mission in the country. The suicide bomber also died, a regional government source told AFP.

At least two UN troops dead in suicide attack in north Mali

At least two UN troops were killed on Saturday in a suicide attack in Mali's northeastern rebel bastion of Kidal, which came a day before the country holds a second round of legislative polls, a UN source said. The soldiers -- whose nationalities were not given -- died when a suicide bomber ploughed his explosive-laden car into a bank that they were guarding. "For the moment, we have at least two dead and several wounded among the MINUSMA African troops," the source said on condition of anonymity, referring to the UN mission in the country.

Sorting out Mali isn't our job, France says

By John Irish PARIS (Reuters) - France will not play Africa's policeman and sort out a territorial dispute in Mali, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday, a day after Mali's president and Tuareg separatist rebels both criticized Paris for doing too little.

Mali, Tuaregs fault France on failing peace talks

By John Irish PARIS (Reuters) - Mali's government and Tuareg separatists both accused France on Wednesday of not doing enough to resolve the political crisis, underscoring the difficulties Paris has in disengaging itself from its former colony. After winning adulation across Mali for a 5-month military offensive earlier this year that scattered al Qaeda fighters, France is caught in a tug of war between the government in Bamako and rebels demanding some form of autonomy based at Kidal in the north.

Mali still 'open to talks' with Tuareg rebels

The Malian government remains "open to talks" with Tuareg rebels despite one of their leaders declaring a return to war, Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly said Tuesday. Tatam Ly, in an interview with the pro-government daily L'Essor, downplayed the war declaration made Friday by Mahamadou Djeri Maiga, vice president of the Tuareg's National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA). "It's not a declaration from the MNLA (but)... from a vice president of the MNLA," Tatam Ly said.
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