The UNSC vote was unanimous.
The extension, diplomats say, will give the United Nations time to prepare a plan to reconfigure the mandate of the force, known as MONUC, to focus more on training the army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and protecting civilians.The Secretary General is asked to submit a "strategic review of the situation" by April 1.
A resolution unanimously approved by the 15-nation council extended the deployment of approximately 20,000 uniformed personnel, the biggest U.N. force in the world, until May 2010. But diplomats say it will be prolonged again after that.
The Kabila regime (D.R. Congo) is still lobbying for an end to MONUC by next summer, supposedly on grounds of national pride. The open question remains, however:
...who benefits from ending MONUC while the northeast of Congo is still a warlord's paradise?