Global perspective Human stories

Sudan: UN agencies warn of fresh round of displacement after fighting in Darfur

Sudan: UN agencies warn of fresh round of displacement after fighting in Darfur

An internally displaced family in West Darfur
Thousands of people have been displaced for the second time in a month because of fresh outbreaks of fighting between Government forces and rebel groups in the war-torn Darfur region of western Sudan, United Nations humanitarian agencies are reporting.

Quoting the humanitarian agencies, the UN Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) said today that about 16,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have fled this week from around the North Darfur town of Thabit, where they had gathered after their own nearby town of Tawila was attacked by rebels late last month.

On Wednesday, Sudanese Government forces clashed in Thabit with members of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), one of two rebel groups to take up arms against the Government early last year in protest against the distribution of economic resources in Darfur.

More than 1.8 million people have had to flee their homes and become internally displaced within Sudan or crossed the border into neighbouring Chad because of the fighting between Khartoum, the rebels and pro-Government militias.

UNAMIS said humanitarian agencies were negotiating with Sudanese authorities about finding a new site for many of the IDPs who have fled Tawila and now Thabit and begun arriving near Abu Shouk, where a large camp already exists.

The population in Tawila remains relatively steady at about 2,000 to 3,000, although some IDPs who were living near the town have been forced to scatter because of the continuing fighting in the area.

Fresh clashes in South Darfur have forced the relocation of some non-governmental organization (NGO) staff from the area around the town of Marla. UNAMIS said the condition of whereabouts of 10,000 IDPs in the Marla area remain unknown.