The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution to send a 12,000 strong peacekeeping force to the Central African Republic.
France led the push for the UN to agree the move in a bid to end the violence between Christians and Muslims which has raised fears of genocide in its former colony.
The UN operation will start in September and it will take over from the African Union’s 5,600 strong force. French military will support the peacekeepers. France already has 2,000 troops operating alongside the AU force.
Thousands have died in the conflict which was sparked last March when Muslim Seleka rebels seized power.
The UN vote comes a day after police officials reported at least 30 people were killed in fighting in the central town of Dekoa.
Predominantly Christian militia members attacked positions held by the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels said police.
The United Nations says about 1.3 million people – a quarter of the population – are in need of aid.