Khartoum: Tribal violence and rebel-government battles have displaced at least 460,000 people in Sudan`s Darfur this year, the United Nations today said, as violence worsens in the western region.
"According to humanitarian organisations, so far in 2013 at least 460,000 people have fled their homes in Darfur as a result of inter-tribal fighting and clashes between the SAF (Sudanese army) and armed movements," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its weekly bulletin.
"This is more than the number of people internally displaced in Darfur in 2011 and 2012 combined," OCHA said.
The latest figure marks a jump from the 300,000 who UN humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos announced in May had been displaced during the first five months of the year.
Tribal violence has eclipsed rebel activity as Darfur`s major security threat, Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein said in a briefing to parliament on Tuesday.
The African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has also said inter-ethnic fighting has become Darfur`s major source of violence.
Most recently, Arab militias used rockets, artillery and heavy machineguns in battle across a wide swathe of southwest Darfur on Sunday, sources in the warring Taisha and Salamat tribes said.
The Salamat have been fighting off-and-on with the Misseriya, a Taisha ally, in southwest Darfur since April.
There was no information on casualties from Sunday`s battle, sparked by a land dispute.
But OCHA said its humanitarian partners and local residents reported more than 50 dead in two days of Misseriya-Salamat fighting last week, about 50 kilometres from Mukjar town.
That brings to more than 200 the number of casualties from fighting between the two tribes since April.
Non-Arab rebels rose up 10 years ago in Darfur, seeking an end to what they viewed as Arab elites` domination of Sudan`s power and wealth.
In response, government-backed Janjaweed militiamen shocked the world with atrocities against civilians.
Analysts say the cash-starved government can no longer control its former Arab tribal allies, whom it armed against the rebellion, and violent competition for resources has intensified.
Fighting between the Misseriya and Salamat since April has "become a major source of insecurity and displacement" around Mukjar, Umm Dukhun and Bundisi near Chad, OCHA said.