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Mali's Tuareg rebels sign peace deal

Tuaregs seized part of northern Mali, including Timbuktu, in 2012

Baku.21 June. REPORT.AZ/ Rebels in Mali have signed a peace deal with the government, offering partial autonomy to the north of the country.

Report informs referring the information given by the BBC, tuareg-led rebels had refused to sign an initial peace agreement last month, but came on board after their demands were met by the government.

Tuaregs seized part of northern Mali, including Timbuktu, in 2012.

But the area was then taken over by Islamist fighters linked to al-Qaeda, until they were removed in a French-led military operation in 2013.

Mali has seen four uprisings since it won independence from France in 1960.

Tuareg and Arab groups in the north - an area rebels call Azawad - say they are ignored by the more prosperous south.

Azawad is sparsely-populated but includes the historic cities of Timbuktu and Gao.

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