Northern Mali rebel factions reach agreement

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) — Rival rebel factions from northern Mali have reached a reconciliation agreement following talks in neighboring Mauritania.

The agreement announced late Friday is between secular Tuareg rebels and Arab militants. Both operate in the part of northern Mali they call Azawad.

The National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, the High Unity Council of the Azawad and the Arab Movement of the Azawad all said they had “decided to open a new page in the history of Azawad based on tolerance.”

Secular Tuareg rebels launched a rebellion in northern Mali last year that gave way to a coup and Islamic insurgency and ultimately a French-led military operation.

In April, clashes broke out between Tuaregs and Arabs in the town of Ber.

Malians will vote Sunday in a runoff presidential election.

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