UN extends Darfur peacekeeping mission amid effectiveness concerns

Mission has the second-highest budget of all U.N. peacekeeping forces

The U.N. Security Council has extended by 10 months the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur amid widespread questions about its effectiveness.

The mission has the second-highest budget of all U.N. peacekeeping forces, at more than $1.3 billion a year. The council this year ordered a review of its performance.

“We want to use this opportunity to make any necessary changes to improve the working of UNAMID,” British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters.

The resolution approved unanimously by the council Wednesday expresses “deep concern” at how the security situation in Darfur has worsened this year, with about 385,000 people fleeing their homes.

Rebel groups have been fighting in the vast western part of the country for more than a decade. The joint peacekeeping force has been about 19,000-strong.