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March 20, 2013

Sudan's President to Step Down in 2015

by VOA News

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir says he plans to step down in 2015 after more than two decades in power.

In an interview with the Qatari newspaper Al Sharq published Wednesday, Bashir reiterated an earlier decision not to run in Sudan's next elections.

Asked what would happen if his party insisted on nominating him, he said no, 20 years is "more than enough" and that the Sudanese people are looking for fresh blood.

He said the ruling National Congress Party will decide on a new leader at a conference next year.

Bashir, 69, has led Sudan since seizing power in a 1989 coup.

In the interview he did not mention the International Criminal Court, which has charged him with war crimes and genocide against civilians in Sudan's Darfur region.

Bashir has flouted an ICC arrest warrant by traveling to friendly countries in Africa and the Middle East.