Council to vote on cutting 500 peacekeepers in Congo mission

The Security Council is expected to approve a resolution that would cut 500 troops from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo and focus its work on protecting civilians and enabling presidential elections to be held by the end of the year.

The council is scheduled to vote Friday on the final draft which would also replace some troops with better-trained specialized units and give the force a green light to intervene anywhere in the country if needed and not just in the volatile east.

The mission, known as MONUSCO, currently has about 22,400 people, including nearly 17,000 soldiers and over 1,350 police, and is the biggest and costliest with a budget of $1.2 billion.

The Trump administration wants to cut U.N. funding and peacekeeping operations are a major target.