Khartoum: A resurgence of fighting in Sudan’s western Darfur region has driven 300,000 people from their homes so far this year, UN humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos said on Thursday.
She was speaking at the end of a three-day visit to Sudan during which she visited a camp for displaced people in Darfur.
“The UN estimates that 300,000 people have fled fighting in all of Darfur in the first five months of this year, which is more than the total number of people displaced in the last two years put together,” Amos said.
“This is an extremely worrying situation and it is clear that humanitarian aid agencies are struggling to cope,” she added.
“We cannot let Darfur slip off the radar screen of the international community. With 1.4 million people still living in camps, and a majority of the people in Darfur still suffering from inadequate access to basic health-care, education and other services, the challenges remain enormous.”
In April, the UN said 50,000 people from southwestern Darfur had fled to neighbouring Chad because of fighting between two feuding Arab tribes — the Misseriya and Salamat.
A total of 1.4 million people were already living in camps in Darfur after fleeing their homes during the uprising that broke out in 2003 against the Arab-dominated regime in Khartoum.
While the worst of the violence has long passed, rebel-government battles continue along with tribal disputes, inter-Arab fighting, kidnappings, carjackings and other violence.