UN expresses hope as latest round of Mali talks kicks off in Algiers despite renewed fighting

The U.N. representative to Mali has expressed hope over the latest round of peace talks set to begin Monday between the warring factions in the country.

The talks which began in Algiers in September are between Mali's government, a series of separatist rebel groups based in the north and government-allied militias.

The talks have resumed despite the fact that in recent weeks fighting has re-ignited between the rival groups and in some cases drawn in U.N. peacekeepers.

"This meeting represents an historic chance for a lasting peace in Mali," said Mongi Hamdi, the head of the U.N. mission in Mali.

In 2012, northern Mali fell under the control of secular Tuareg fighters and then al-Qaida linked radicals, prompting French military intervention.

The talks seek to build on a 2014 ceasefire.