KHARTOUM, March 5 -- Recent fighting in Sudan's South Darfur State have displaced more than 15,000 people, UN officials said on Wednesday.
The majority of those fleeing have gone to Al Salam and Kalma camps outside the state capital city of Nyala, said Adnan Khan, acting UN humanitarian coordinator in Sudan.
Khan expressed his deep concern over the report that thousands of people have fled their homes, as a result of fresh fighting between armed movements and Sudanese armed forces together with its allied paramilitary groups in the Um Gunya area of South Darfur.
"The latest fighting in the Um Gunya area has displaced over 15, 000 people from their homes, possibly many more," Khan said.
He further explained that as these camps also received many newly displaced people last year, available services like medical care are already thinly stretched. Humanitarian agencies are organizing extra water and food supplies for the new arrivals in Al Salam and Kalma camps.
The UN official added that last year saw more people displaced in Darfur than in any single year since the height of the Darfur conflict in 2004.
"Unfortunately, what we are seeing in Darfur is a trend, where conflict and violence impact the lives of ordinary people with increasing frequency," he said.
Khan noted that "after eleven years of fighting in Darfur not only new displacement, or displacement that has affected people multiple times, have a huge effect on those who have been uprooted, but also places great strain on return and recovery efforts across the region."
The UN African Union Mission in Darfur on Monday expressed deep concern over the escalating violence in Sudan's South Darfur state during the past days.
"The violence has resulted in the reported burning of a number of villages and the displacement of a large number of civilians in the vicinity of Um Gunya, located approximately 50 km southeast of Nyala," the mission said.
Also on Monday, local media reported that armed clashes took place in South Darfur between semi-regular forces, known as Rabid Intervention Force, and Darfur rebels.