The Sudanese army accused the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia of killing the governor of the West Darfur Province, Khamis Abdullah Abakr in a statement issued early on Thursday.
However, the RSF has in turn blamed rogue elements for the killing.
The army issued a statement sharply condemning “the treacherous behaviour of the RSF militia” in abducting and executing Khamis Abdullah Abakr.
Abakr’s death had earlier been reported by several media organisations.
In its statement, the RSF, a quasi-army formed from militias with tens of thousands of fighters, condemned the killing as the action of “lawless elements.”
For the past two months, the RSF of former deputy strongman Mohammed Hamdan Daglo has been battling the armed forces led by the de facto head of state, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
The two generals swept to power together in 2019 and 2021, but later fell out.
A transition to democracy in the country of around 46 million inhabitants in north-eastern Africa, as demanded by the civilian population, failed to materialise.
Al Jazeera reported on Thursday that Abakr had given an interview on Wednesday hours before his death, in which he criticised the killing of civilians and called for international intervention in the crisis engulfing Sudan.
There have been repeated reports over recent days of attacks on civilians by RSF forces.
Violent clashes between the army and the RSF have occurred repeatedly in Khartoum and in Darfur in the west of the country.
UN High Commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi condemned the violence on Thursday.
“Violent clashes in and around camps for the displaced in North Darfur have killed over 100 people.
“There are shocking reports of horrific sexual violence against women and girls.
“This will worsen unless the parties to the conflict agree to end a fight that is destroying Sudan,” he tweeted.
Washington also condemned the “ongoing human rights violations and abuses and horrific violence in Sudan” as well as Abakr’s killing and expressed concern over reports that the brother of the sultan of the Masalit tribe and 16 others were killed in El Geneina, in West Darfur, on June 12.
“The atrocities occurring today in West Darfur and other areas are an ominous reminder of the horrific events that led the United States to determine in 2004 that genocide had been committed in Darfur,” U.S. Department of State spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.
“While the atrocities taking place in Darfur are primarily attributable to the RSF and affiliated militia, both sides have been responsible for abuses,” Miller said.
“In Darfur, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have failed to protect civilians and have reportedly stoked conflict by encouraging mobilisation of tribes.
“SAF attacks by military aircraft or drones have also impeded humanitarian efforts,” Miller added.
He called on both sides to cease fighting in the area, hold accountable those responsible for violence or abuses, and allow delivery of relief materials to prevail.
According to UN figures, more than 2.2 million people have been displaced by the fighting. (dpa/NAN)