The U.N. Security Council is calling on Sudan and South Sudan to immediately resume negotiations on the final status of the disputed area of Abyei, saying it constitutes a serious threat to international order.

The 15-member council voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the mandate of the peacekeeping force in the Abyei, underscoring that peacekeepers are charged with taking necessary action to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence regardless of the source.

The resolution extending the peacekeepers' mandate stressed that future status of Abyei shall be resolved peacefully, through negotiations and not through the unilateral actions of either party.

Ownership of oil-rich Abyei remains disputed following South Sudan's split from Sudan in 2011.