Coalition of armed opposition groups balks at signing peace deal for restive northern Mali

A coalition of armed opposition groups says it's not ready to sign a peace accord for restive northern Mali.

International mediators, some regional groups and Mali's government signed the accord Sunday, after nine months of peace negotiations hosted by neighboring Algeria. The agreement includes provisions for local elections and integrating armed groups into Mali's army.

The Coordination of Azawad Movements — a coalition of autonomy-minded groups including ethnic Arabs and Tuaregs — praised the negotiations but wants more time to present the accord to locals before signing. Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in opposition to it in the northern Malian town of Kidal.

Mongi Hamdi, the head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, called the accord "the most viable compromise" but acknowledged it "doesn't reflect all the parties' respective demands."