UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The Security Council has extended the mandate of the 19,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo for a year, saying any force reduction should depend on ending violence in the volatile east and improving the ability of the Congolese to protect civilians.
A resolution adopted unanimously Tuesday said future changes to the force should also be based on the government's consolidation of authority throughout the country.
Last month, Congo's minister for international and regional cooperation, Raymond Tshibanda, told the council the government wanted the U.N. force to be gradually withdrawn, saying the security situation has been stabilized in nearly all parts of the country.
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