The UN Security Council has extended the mandate of the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan's volatile region of Darfur for one year.
About 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur and 1.8 million have fled their homes since non-Arab rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime in 2003, according to UN data. The government puts the death toll at 10,000.
UN and African Union peacekeepers were deployed in the region in 2008.
In its resolution issued on Friday, the Council urged all parties to the conflict to begin negotiations immediately and without preconditions in order to reach a permanent ceasefire and a comprehensive peace settlement.