UN extends Central African Republic peacekeeping mission

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council has approved a resolution extending the mandate of the 14,600-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in conflict-wracked Central African Republic.

The French-drafted resolution adopted Thursday urges all militias and armed groups in the country “to lay down their arms, cease all forms of violence and destabilizing activities.”

It calls on President Faustin-Archange Touadera to advance talks with armed groups and national reconciliation “without delay.”

Russia and China abstained from voting.

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Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Moscow supports the peacekeeping force but he sharply criticized France for not including Russian concerns in the resolution. Russia wanted the U.N. force to support its training of Central African Republic troops.

The country has faced interreligious and intercommunal fighting since 2013, and violence has intensified and spread in the past year.

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