UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- The security situation in the Darfur region of Sudan has remained relatively stable, but intermittent clashes in Jebel Marra between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Abdul Wahid (AW) faction continue, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou Keita told the Security Council on Monday.
"The Jebel Marra area is still a conflict zone, without the cessation of hostilities. Overall, there are still close to 2 million IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Darfur," said Keita at a Security Council meeting on Sudan and South Sudan.
According to Keita, On Jan. 17, 28, and 29, SLA/AW elements attacked SAF personnel in Manabu farming area, and three SAF personnel were killed. The SAF and SLA/AW continued to exchange fire in Manabu on Feb. 9, 11, 17 and 19, resulting in the death of seven SLA/AW members and one SAF personnel in total.
In addition, infighting between two sub-factions of the SLA/AW was reported on Jan. 17, Feb. 7 and Feb. 13, with four casualties, Keita said, adding that these factions disagree over their prospects of participation in the peace, process, while some of their clashes also seem to indicate competition over scarce resources.
Though these clashes have not resulted in new displacement, civilians in the area have been exposed to numerous incidents of robbery, abduction, and violence, attributed to both personnel in military attire and SLA/AW element, she added.