UN votes to have peacekeepers in South Sudan focus on protecting civilians after conflict

The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to change the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan to focus on the protection of civilians instead of nation building.

The resolution adopted Tuesday by the U.N.'s most powerful body also puts a cease-fire monitoring mission set up by the eight-nation East African regional group known as IGAD under the U.N. peacekeeping umbrella, along with the soldiers to protect the monitors.

Ethnically targeted violence in the world's youngest country broke out in December, killing thousands of people and forcing more than 1.3 million to flee their homes.

An initial cease-fire was signed in January but fighting continued. A second cease-fire signed on May 9 has led to a tense standoff in the country.