More than 130,000 civilians have been displaced since mid-January by intense fighting between Sudanese army and rebels in Darfur’s Jebel Marra in western Sudan.
The head of Peacekeeping Operations of the UN, Herve Ladsous, made the disclosure on Wednesday while addressing the UN Security Council on the Darfur situation.
“At present, clashes and aerial bombardments continue in the Darfur region, where the government has sent reinforcements,” he said adding that humanitarian organizations have estimated “at least 138,000 people were displaced in Jebel Marra, north, south and central Darfur as at March 31.”
Mr. Ladsous said access restrictions imposed by Khartoum to humanitarian and joint UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) made it impossible to give a precise account of the fighting.
He reiterated the call of the UN to the Sudanese government and rebels to “immediately cease hostilities in Jebel Marra and to engage in the peace negotiations without preconditions.”
In early March, the UN and the African Union reported that at least 90,000 people moved to north Darfur as a result of the fighting in Jebel Marra which is situated across the three Darfur states.
The conflict in Darfur, according to the UN, has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people and 2.6 million have been displaced since 2003.