UN officials held peace talks with armed groups in Mali

The U.N. Security Council met on Monday with representatives of armed Tuareg groups active in northern Mali as part of an effort to accelerate peace talks with the government, though participants said disagreements on conditions for the talks had not been resolved.

Tuareg rebels launched a rebellion in northern Mali in early 2012 that gave way to a military coup, allowing them to take control of the country’s north. However, al-Qaeda-linked Islamic extremists later took over much of the north, prompting France to launch a military intervention in early 2013.

Though Mali held successful presidential and legislative elections last year, security in the north remains precarious, and the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad in particular maintains a strong presence in and around the northern city of Kidal.

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