[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] passed a resolution [text] Thursday authorizing the deployment of UN peacekeeping troops to the Darfur region of Sudan [JURIST news archive] under the authority of the current UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) [UN backgrounder]. The new peacekeeping force will replace the current African Union [official website] force whose mandate is set to expire [JURIST report] September 30. The resolution can not take effect, however, until the Sudanese government consents to the presence of the UN peacekeepers. Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir [BBC profile] repeatedly expressed opposition to UN-led peacekeeping forces [JURIST report] before the May 5 Darfur peace agreement [US Sudan Embassy briefing]. Despite more recent indications that Sudan would consent to the deployment of a UN force, Sudan's official news agency reported that Al-Bashir has rejected the UN resolution.
The United States and Great Britain sponsored the resolution that passed by a vote of 12-0 with three abstentions. The Security Council will hold a meeting next Friday with members of the African Union and Sudanese government, as well as the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, in an attempt to gain Sudan's support for the UN peacekeeping effort. AP has more.