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US Congratulates Mali on Peace Deal

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (L) embraces Tuareg rebel coalition representative Mahamadou Djery Maiga on June 20, 2015, in Bamako.

The Obama administration is congratulating the people of Mali for the peace agreement signed Saturday between Tuareg rebels and the government.

A State Department spokesman said Sunday the U.S. will stand by the Malian people as they implement the deal to bring "the future of peace and prosperity all Malians deserve."

The government and a coalition of loyalist militias signed the peace deal in May. But the Tuaregs and their allies had been holding out for more concessions.

The peace agreement was brokered by Algeria.

It includes greater autonomy for northern Mali, but stops short of full autonomy. The Tuaregs and other northern Arab rebel groups have launched several uprisings against the government, complaining they have been marginalized and their problems ignored.

Previous peace deals in Mali have failed to hold.

Chaos that followed a 2012 military coup in Mali allowed the Tuaregs to seize several major town in the north. They were pushed out by al-Qaida linked Islamic militants, who were defeated themselves by a French military force.

A U.N. peacekeeping mission has been struggling to keep order in Mali.