UNITED NATIONS — The Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Friday that will dramatically cut the United Nations-African Union military force in Sudan's vast western Darfur region by more than half in response to reduced fighting and improved security conditions.
The resolution adopted by a vote of 15-0 also looks ahead to "the eventual exit" of the joint force known as UNAMID.
The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when ethnic Africans rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated Sudanese government of discrimination. The government in Khartoum was accused of retaliating by arming local nomadic Arab tribes and unleashing them on civilian populations — a charge it denies.
The U.N.-AU force was established in 2007 with a mandate to help protect civilians in Darfur.
In recent years, as the result of a successful government military campaign, the rebellion has been reduced to rebel Sudan Liberation Army forces loyal to founder Abdul Wahid Elnur in western Jebel Marra.