U.N. approves Darfur peacekeepers

The U.N. Security Council approved the deployment of peacekeepers to quell the violence in the Darfur region of Sudan.

In a resolution adopted Tuesday, the council approved the deployment of 26,000 military and police personnel in what will be the largest peacekeeping operation in the world. The resolution included reference to Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which permits the council to authorize the use of force to achieve its mandate.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it a “historic and unprecedented resolution.”

The operation, to be known as UNAMID, will absorb approximately 7,000 African Union peacekeepers deployed in the region since 2004 to limited effect. UNAMID will be authorized to protect civilians, prevent armed attacks and ensure the security of aid workers.

American Jewish groups have long been at the forefront of advocacy efforts on behalf of Darfur, where estimates of those killed in a government-sponsored campaign run as high as 400,000.

UNAMID is expected to be fully operational before the end of the year.

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