KHARTOUM, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- At least 23 people have been killed in the clashes in Sudan's Darfur region early this week, a senior Sudanese official announced Wednesday.
On Sunday, armed clashes took place at Mistariha area in North Darfur State between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), an affiliate of the Sudanese army, and fighters of the Awakening Revolutionary Council (ARC), a tribal body, led by the prominent tribal leader Musa Hilal.
"23 people were killed in the clashes, 14 from the RSF and 9 from the ARC," Sudan's State Minister for Defense Ali Mohamed Salem said before the Sudanese parliament Wednesday.
"The rapid support forces have detained 50 ARC members," the minister added.
On Sunday, the RSF arrested Musa Hilal along with a number of his family members, where they were transported to Khartoum on Monday amid tight security measures.
The minister further noted that Hilal would be presented to a military court after investigations are completed.
Hilal has strongly opposed the recent government campaign for the collection of arms in Darfur despite the fact that he was an ally of the government until very recently.
Hilal refused to surrender ARC's weapons to the government and opposed the assignment of the arms collection to the rapid support forces.
The government insisted on collecting the arms from all militias and tribes in Darfur so that the weapons would be in the hands of the regular forces only.
Hilal has allied with the Khartoum government to fight rebels in the region since the outbreak of war in 2003.
The West and human rights organization Human Rights Watch blamed Hilal for forming the Janjaweed militias which are accused of committing war crimes in Darfur.
The UN Security Council decided in 2006 to impose sanctions on Musa Hilal and three others, including travel ban and freeze of funds.