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UN Security Council Approves Sharp Cuts in Darfur Peacekeeping

FILE - Internally displaced schoolchildren eat from the same bowl during a feeding program provided by the World Food Program at the Abushouk camp in Al Fasher in North Darfur, Sudan, Nov. 17, 2015.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to cut the peacekeeping mission in Sudan's Darfur region by nearly 30 percent.

The British-sponsored resolution was sparked by the evolving security situation in Darfur and U.S. pressure on the U.N. to slash $600 million from peacekeeping operations.

The reduction in Darfur will be carried out in phases.

Human rights experts said conditions in Darfur were still far from quiet and a U.N. withdrawal could put many civilians in danger.

The Security Council will still keep a close watch on the situation in Darfur. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres plans to report to the council by the end of the year on whether more cuts are needed.

Darfur has been plagued by nearly 15 years of misery since a tribal uprising against the Sudan government brought an armed response by government forces, backed by Arab militias. About 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million have been forced to flee their homes.

Drought and famine have added to the suffering.