Inter-communal clashes continue to threaten Darfur: envoy

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The African Union-United Nations envoy to Darfur said Monday that despite drop in fighting, inter-communal clashes continue to pose a threat to security in this conflict-torn region of Sudan.

"The AU-UN Joint Special Representative for Darfur, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, said today that fighting between government forces and armed movements reduced considerably during the past months," UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters here at the daily briefing.

But inter-communal violence and acts of banditry and criminality continue to be a challenge for the civilian population of Darfur, AU-UN peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel, Chambas said.

The envoy was also quoted as saying that the troops and police of the African Union-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) was becoming more proactive and adopting a most robust posture in protecting civilians.

Chambas has intensified coordination with the African Union High-level Implementation Panel and the Secretary-general's Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan in mediation, Dujarric noted.

According to Chambas, a meeting with representatives of the armed movements and the government of the Sudan is under wraps to explore ways of addressing the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur; deliberate on how the parties can bridge their differences and make progress towards a comprehensive settlement of the Darfur conflict.

Three major Darfur armed movements -- the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Abdul-Wahid Mohamed Nur faction, and the SLA/Minni Minawi faction -- have been fighting the central government since 2003.

The three movements have refused to join the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, which was signed on July 14, 2011, in Doha, Qatar, between the Sudanese government and the Darfur Liberation and Justice Movement, claiming that the document was partial and does not meet the demands of the Darfur people.

The UN estimated that the number of people displaced by conflicts in Darfur since the beginning of 2014 has increased from 250,000 to over 385,000, alongside the more than two million long- term internally displaced persons.