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Mandate of Darfur peacekeeping force renewed
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The UN Security Council on Thursday voted to extend for one year the mandate of the UN-African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID), which expires Thursday.

Of the 15-member body, 14 voted in favor of a Britain-sponsored resolution endorsing the extension and the United States abstained.

In the resolution, the council also made a reference to the African Union (AU)'s call for it to suspend the indictment of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The council took note of the AU's July 21 communique as well as its concerns "regarding potential developments subsequent to" ICC Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo's application for Bashir's arrest.

After an emergency meeting held on July 21 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Union issued a communique urging the UN Security Council to suspend the ICC indictment of Bashir.

During consultations prior to the vote, South Africa and Libya had proposed an amendment calling for suspension of the ICC indictment for one year, a move that was opposed by some Western nations, including the United States and France.

(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2008)

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