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Envoy tells UN Darfur remains grim

August 7, 2014

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The international envoy for Darfur on Thursday said tribal violence is rising and the humanitarian situation in western Sudan’s volatile Darfur region remains dire.

Joint African Union-United Nations representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas told the U.N. Security Council that the number of people estimated to have fled their homes because of conflict this year has jumped from 250,000 to 385,000.

Already there are more than 2 million people, or more than a quarter of the region’s estimated 7.5 million people, who have been displaced and are living in grim makeshift camps.

Chambas said that a national dialogue proposed by Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir represents an opportunity to remedy the crisis.

Sudanese ambassador Rahamtalla Elnor said Darfur’s humanitarian situation has improved because of the government’s work and that it has reached out to armed groups in an effort to bring stability.

Darfur has been gripped by bloodshed since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government in Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination and neglect.

The Security Council referred the Darfur conflict to the International Criminal Court in 2005, but has failed to pressure Sudan’s government to arrest al-Bashir and others accused of war crimes. Sudan refuses to recognize the court and refuses to hand over al-Bashir for trial on charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.