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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bashir urges Darfur militants to lay down arms

Thu, 19 Mar 2009 02:51:25 GMT

Sudanese President
Omar al-Bashir
Sudan's President calls on all rebels in the volatile Darfur region to lay down arms and stand united against the enemies of the country.

On his visit to Darfur on Wednesday, President Omar Al-Bashir said, "we want to reunify the people of Darfur and we call on all our sons and brothers who bear arms to put them down."

The president said that an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against him was a conspiracy.

Bashir also promised the people of Darfur a set of development projects and better local government that allows more room for local leadership.

"Our response to ICC is to bring electricity to Darfur, more buildings, schools, water, and more hospitals. We want a reunification of the people of Darfur," he added, when addressing hundreds of supporters in southern Darfur town of Sibdu.

The Sudanese president said there was no injustice under his rule and that the people's support behind him was the best response to the court's decision.

The ICC on March 4 issued a warrant for Bashir for alleged "war crimes and crimes against humanity" during the Darfur conflict.

"The AU once again appeals to the Security Council to take responsibility and defer the warrant and give peace a chance in Darfur," Elisabeth Tankeu, the interim chair of African Union's panel on Darfur said on Wednesday.

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