1.9 million displaced in Sudan's Darfur, says United Nations

An internally displaced woman feeds her child at the vicinity of an African Union - United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) base near Labado, South Darfur, on Dec 9, 2013. Almost two million people are displaced in Darfur, the United Natio
An internally displaced woman feeds her child at the vicinity of an African Union - United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) base near Labado, South Darfur, on Dec 9, 2013. Almost two million people are displaced in Darfur, the United Nation's top official in Sudan said on Monday, Dec 16, 2013, giving a new figure for the region where violence has worsened this year. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

EL FASHER (AFP) - Almost two million people are displaced in Darfur, the United Nation's top official in Sudan said on Monday, giving a new figure for the region where violence has worsened this year.

"We estimate that the internally displaced people... are close to 1.9 million, and that there are 1.3 million non-IDP's who are severely affected and/or food insecure," Mr Ali Al-Za'tari said in the capital of North Darfur state.

"This makes the total number of Sudanese in need in Darfur more than 3.2 million." Mr Za'tari was speaking at a meeting of the Implementation Follow-up Commission, an international body which monitors implementation of a 2011 peace deal Khartoum signed in Qatar with an alliance of rebel splinter groups.

Major rebel groups rejected the pact.

The UN has already said that at least 460,000 people were displaced by fighting this year. The number dislocated previously during the region's 10-year-old conflict had been unclear, but was in excess of one million.

While battles between the government and rebels continue, Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein said last month that violence between rival tribes has eclipsed rebel activity as the main security threat in Darfur.

The fighting, over land and other resources, has largely involved Arab tribal militias, some of which have used heavy weapons including rockets.

Non-Arab rebels rose up in Darfur 10 years ago, seeking an end to what they viewed as Arab elites' domination of Sudan's power and wealth.

In response, government-backed Janjaweed militiamen, recruited among the region's Arab tribes, shocked the world with atrocities against civilians.

Analysts say the cash-starved Khartoum government can no longer control its former Arab tribal allies.