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3 northern Mali rebel groups sign accord in Algiers promising peace talks

Three northern Malian rebel groups have signed an accord in Algiers pledging to work for peace through inclusive talks in Mali.

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, the High Council for the Unity of Azawad and the Arab Movement of Azawad signed the Algiers Declaration pledging their "good faith" to strengthen the process of reconciliation through dialogue, said an Algerian government statement Tuesday.

Fighters with the NMLA routed Malian government soldiers from the northern town of Kidal in late May leading to a tense standoff in the area.

In 2012, fighters from the north, mostly from the Tuareg ethnic group, carved out a state in the north that they named Azawad.

It was later taken over by al-Qaida-linked groups, who were then defeated by a French-led international force.