Page last updated at 08:54 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 09:54 UK

Niger rebels agree to ceasefire

Leader of the Niger Patriotic Front (FPN), Aklu Sidisidi
Tuareg rebels are demanding a greater share of profits from uranium mining

Niger's two main Tuareg rebel groups have agreed to a ceasefire after talks with Prime Minister Seyni Oumarou.

The Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ) and the Niger Patriotic Front (FPN) said they were ready to relinquish their arms within a short period.

They opened negotiations earlier this month with President Mamadou Tandja.

The Tuareg have been in revolt for the past two years, demanding more autonomy and a greater share of Niger's profits from uranium mining.

A third rebel group, the Front of Forces for Rectification (FFR), led by former Tourism Minister Rhissa Ag Boula, boycotted the talks.

The decades old conflict between nomadic Tuaregs and the government has been reignited by the exploitation of uranium in the Sahara Desert in northern Niger.

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