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UN Calls for Peacekeeping Force in CAR

Deposed CAR President, Francois Bozize Francois Bozize, Jan. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
The United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution to help stabilize the war-torn Central African Republic.

The 15-member council approved the resolution in a unanimous vote Thursday. The measure calls on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to prepare options for helping a small African Union force in the country.

It said the options should include the possibility of transforming the force into a U.N. peacekeeping operation.

Much of the Central African Republic has descended into chaos since the rebel coalition Seleka overthrew President Francois Bozize in March. Humanitarian groups say rebel fighters have attacked and looted villages, displacing tens of thousands of civilians.

Reports this week said clashes between Seleka fighters and local self-defense groups had killed at least 23 people in the northwest village of Gaga.

The Central African Republic has endured a long series of coups and rebellions since gaining independence from France in 1960.