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Mali Mediators Hopeful of Accord

Burkina Faso's FM Djibrill Basole June 10, 2013 Ouagadougou
Mediators for talks on Mali say they are hopeful an agreement will be reached Tuesday between Mali's government and ethnic Tuareg rebels.

Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Djibril Bassole says a draft agreement has been given to both sides for their review.

He says three days of negotiations have focused on key concerns, including the deployment of the Malian army to the northern city of Kidal, which the rebels control. Bassole says the two sides have reached an agreement in principle on this issue. He did not give further details.

Bassole was speaking on behalf of Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore who has been mediating the talks in Ouagadougou.

Mali's ethnic Tuareg separatist group MNLA seized control of Kidal and surrounding areas earlier this year. They took the city after French forces chased out Islamist militants who had ruled northern Mali for 10 months.

In recent days, Malian soldiers and MNLA rebels have clashed repeatedly as the army pushes towards Kidal.

Human rights groups have accused both sides of rights abuses and there is concern that the ongoing violence could disrupt elections set for July 28.