Sudanese authorities Monday announced the arrest of the founder of former state-backed Janjaweed militias.
Mr Musa Hilal was reportedly arrested during battles with government forces.
Defence Minister Ali Mohamed Salim said the leader of the Awakening Revolutionary Council was arrested in Darfur after battles with the pro-government militias.
"The Awakening Revolutionary Council leader Musa Hilal, his son and some other members of his family and assistants have been arrested in Darfur by the Rapid Support Forces RSF,” the minister stated.
The Janjaweed leader defected from the government side three years ago and retreated to his stronghold of Mastariha in North Darfur State, where he founded the Awakening Revolutionary Council.
Reports accuse Mr Hilal of committing war crimes in the troubled region.
The Defence minister further confirmed the death of dozens of soldiers from the both sides, including nine RSF commanders in the battles taking place in Mastariha since Sunday morning.
RSF is headed by General Mohamed Hamdan Hemedti and operate under the direct command of the Sudanese presidency.
Mr Hilal was the founder of the Janjaweed militias that have been accused of committing widespread crimes in Darfur since the eruption of the war in 2003.
Earlier reports of human rights organisations have accused Mr Hilal of involvement in crimes committed by the government militias in Darfur.