The head of Sudan's main paramilitary group has threatened to set up a governing authority in areas his forces control if his enemies in the army form a government.
Rapid Support Forces commander Gen Mohamed Dagalo has been fighting the army for almost five months in a conflict that has wrecked the country and caused a humanitarian crisis.
Last month, a senior figure in Sudan's Sovereign Council, led by army chief Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, said a caretaker government was needed.
"If the army forms the government, we will immediately initiate broad consultations to establish a genuine civilian authority in areas under our extensive control with Khartoum as the capital," Gen Dagalo said in a recorded statement released on Thursday.
He said any move by the army to set up a caretaker government in the eastern city of Port Sudan would split the country.
While the RSF has fanned out across residential areas throughout Khartoum and neighbouring Bahri and Omdurman, the army has used heavy artillery and air strikes to try to push the paramilitary grouo back, resulting in hundreds of civilian casualties.
The army and RSF began fighting on April 15, after tensions surged over the integration of the group's fighters into the military as part of a new transition to democracy. While several countries have launched mediation efforts, none has succeeded in bringing a halt to the fighting.