UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution welcoming the deployment of a 5,000-strong force from five countries in Africa's vast Sahel region to fight the growing threat from extremists.
The resolution adopted Thursday was watered down to meet demands from the United States, which is seeking to cut $1 billion from the U.N. peacekeeping budget and wanted to ensure that the measure didn't open the possibility of new demands for financing.
Nonetheless, France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre called it "a landmark resolution" providing "strong and decisive support" to Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Chad in fighting extremism.
The resolution eliminates several key provisions: It now can't be militarily enforced, it doesn't authorize the deployment and it doesn't ask the U.N. to propose options for financing the force.