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Hollande praises Mali's Tuareg rebels peace deal

18 June 2013 Last updated at 21:04 BST

Mali's government has signed a peace deal with Tuareg rebels to help pave the way for elections next month, French President Francois Hollande has confirmed.

The accord calls for an immediate ceasefire and for government troops to return to the rebel-held northern town of Kidal.

The rebels captured Kidal after a French-led offensive forced militant Islamists out of the town in January.

The Tuaregs have been fighting for autonomy in the north since Mali gained independence from France in 1960.

Mr Hollande said the agreement would allow for elections across the country - including Kidal.