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Sudanese President Calls War Crimes Allegations 'Fabricated'


Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir says war crimes allegations against him have been fabricated.

Mr. Bashir said in an interview with British media that any claim that the Sudanese government ordered killings in Darfur is not true.

He also denied reports of mass rape in Darfur. Mr. Bashir said the crime might have happened at an individual level, but said mass rape does not exist in Darfur. The president said rape is alien to the area's culture. He said women who make such claims are under the influence of rebels.

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo has accused Sudan's president of masterminding a campaign of rape, murder and deportation in Darfur, and has asked the court to issue a warrant for Mr. Bashir's arrest.

The court has not made a decision on the request.

The African Union and Arab League are seeking to have case postponed.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003, when ethnic African minority rebels took up arms against Sudan's Arab-led government and state-backed Arab militias.

The United Nations says the five-year conflict has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced some 2.5 million others. Sudan has accused Western governments and media of exaggerating the conflict, and says only about 10,000 people have died.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.


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