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U.N. extends Darfur peacekeeping mission

By the CNN Wire Staff
U.N. peace-keeping forces will stay in Darfur for at least 12 more months.
U.N. peace-keeping forces will stay in Darfur for at least 12 more months.
  • U.N. Security Council renews the mandate of the mission in Darfur
  • The mission's current mandate was due to end Friday
  • A report this week said fighting has intensified and deaths have increased

United Nations (CNN) -- The United Nations Security Council has renewed the mandate of its mission in the Darfur region of Sudan for another 12 months.

Council members made the decision Friday, a day before the current mandate was due to end.

They demanded that the parties involved in the conflict immediately end the fighting as well as attacks on civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel.

The Security Council heard a report earlier this week from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that fighting has intensified between rebel groups and the Sudanese government.

May was the most fatal month in Darfur since the U.N. mission deployed there three years ago, and violent incidents in recent months have surpassed the bloodshed in the same period last year, members said.

Ban had recommended that Security Council members renew the mission to "expand the work that it has painstakingly begun."

As many as 300,000 people are thought to have died and at least 2.5 million have been displaced from their homes in Darfur since fighting broke out in 2003 between the government, the government-allied Janjaweed militia, and other armed rebel groups, the United Nations says.

The conflict has been marked by widespread atrocities, including the murder of civilians and the rape of women and girls, the United Nations says.

The U.N. mission, known by its acronym UNAMID, took over from African Union peacekeepers in Darfur in late 2007. The force has been hampered, however, by a lack of cooperation from the Sudanese government and a lack of troops, according to the United Nations.