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Sudan’s Bashir Says He Will Step Down in 2020

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir addresses a crowd during a campaign rally in East Darfur, April 5, 2016.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir says he will step down when his current term is over, four years from now.

“In 2020, there will be a new president and I will be an ex-president,” Bashir said during an interview with the BBC, broadcast Thursday.

During the interview, he said his job is “exhausting” and he would not be a candidate in the next presidential election.

Bashir, 72, is among Africa's longest-ruling leaders. He has been in power since 1989 when he seized power through a military coup.

In 2015, he won re-election amid poor turnout, international criticism, and an opposition boycott.

The president is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

The charges stem from the long-running conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, which according to the United Nations has killed 300,000 people and displaced 2.5 million from their homes.

In his interview, Bashir denied that his forces carried out abuses during recent fighting in the Jebel Marra area.

“All these allegations are baseless, none of these reports is true,” he said. “We challenge anyone to visit the areas recaptured by the armed forces, and find a single village that has been torched.”

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    Aline Barros

    Aline Barros is an immigration reporter for VOA’s News Center in Washington, D.C. Before joining VOA in 2016, Aline worked for the Gazette Newspapers and Channel 21 Montgomery Community Media, both in Montgomery County, Md. She has been published by the Washington Post, G1 Portal Brazilian News, and Fox News Latino. Aline holds a broadcast journalism degree from University of Maryland. Follow her @AlineBarros2.

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