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UN calls for immediate dialogue on Mali

MNLA rebels pose at their headquarters on July 27, 2013 in the northern city of KidalUnited Nations (United States) (AFP) – The UN peacekeeping chief Wednesday urged Bamako and armed groups in Mali’s north to engage in political dialogue immediately, emphasizing that the country’s “status quo” was no longer acceptable. “The time for peace talks is now,” Herve Ladsous told the UN Security Council, as it met to consider renewal of the mandate for the UN mission in Mali. Since a preliminary agreement was reached between Mali and Tuareg rebels a year ago, Ladsous said, “the government and the armed groups have made little progress towards real, substantive dialogue.” Algeria, which is helping to mediate the conflict, said Monday that groups from northern Mali were ready to launch peace talks, but that dialogue had still not materialized despite declarations of intent by both sides.

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