The United Nations says 80,000 people have fled a conflict that began in January in Darfur's Jebel Marra region, a stronghold of a Sudan Liberation Army faction which is one of the main rebel groups fighting Sudanese security forces.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that the U.N. humanitarian office has received reports of as many as 127,000 more people who have been displaced by fighting, particularly in central Darfur.

He said 2.6 million people remain displaced in Darfur, with 1.6 million civilians living in some 60 camps.

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 United Nations says 300,000 people have died in the conflict.