Darfur fighting displaces more than 30,000 people: UN

Conflict in Darfur ebbed from its peaks a decade ago, but has erupted fiercely in recent weeks, forcing nearly 30,000 out of their homes. Some 2,800 of them fled to a camp that already shelters 42,000 refugees.

KHARTOUM — Two weeks of fighting in Sudan's Darfur has displaced 30,000 people who are in need for food and shelter, the United Nations said after some of the worst clashes in the western region for months.

Conflict has raged in Darfur, a vast arid region, since 2003 when mainly non-Arab tribes took up arms against the Arab government in Khartoum, accusing it of political and economic marginalization.

Fighting and rebels divisions have scuttled years of international mediation and several rounds of peace talks. Violence has ebbed from the peaks of 2003 and 2004, but has picked up in recent weeks while banditry has also spread.

Around 30,000 people fled their homes in the towns of Golo and Guldo to escape two weeks of fighting that began Dec. 24 in the Jebel Marra region, prized for its fertile land, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report.

Some 2,800 people fled to a camp in Nertiti in central Darfur, already home to 42,000 displaced people, the report said, citing figures from the government and a community leader.

RELATED: Heavy fighting rages in Sudan's Darfur region

Rebels from the Sudan Liberation Army faction, led by Abdel Wahed Mohamed al-Nur, have seized the towns of Golo and Rockero, the international peacekeeping force UNAMID said Wednesday.

Fighting broke also out this week between two tribes in North Darfur over the use of a gold mine.

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and other Sudanese officials for masterminding war crimes in Darfur. They deny the charges and refuse to recognize the court.

Human rights groups and the United Nations estimate that hundreds of thousands of people have died in Darfur's conflict, although the toll is disputed by the government, which says around 10,000 people were killed.

Around 1.4 million displaced people live in camps across Darfur, depending on aid rations, according to the United Nations.

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