BAMAKO (Reuters) - Negotiations between the Malian government and mostly Tuareg rebel groups, held in Algiers, broke up on Thursday without an agreement on northern Mali, officials for both sides said.
Mali's vast desert north - called Azawad by the Tuareg rebels - has risen up four times in the last five decades, with various groups fighting for independence or a form of self-rule from the government in the south.
"The negotiations are suspended without a preliminary agreement," said Cherif Kanoute, spokesman for Mali's foreign ministry, without elaborating on the reason for the failure.
Moussa Ag Assarid, a spokesman for Azawad groups, confirmed via telephone from Algiers that the talks had ended, adding that another meeting was provisionally planned for January.
(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Andrew Roche)