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Mali president-elect vows national reconciliation

Wednesday - 8/21/2013, 2:01pm  ET

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- Mali's president-elect is vowing to lead efforts for national reconciliation once he takes office next month.

The comments from Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Wednesday come a little over a week after he won Mali's presidential runoff.

Keita says his priority will be to "gather together all Malians around the ideals of peace and tolerance."

A rebellion by ethnic Tuaregs in northern Mali followed by an Islamic insurgency in the same region has left lingering tensions that pose one of Keita's greatest challenges.

Deadly reprisal attacks have targeted those accused of having aided rebels and jihadists and the town of Kidal remains opposed to the Malian military presence there.

Keita also vowed to tackle corruption and reform the military, which needed help from French and regional troops to reclaim the north.

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