Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir Thursday portrayed himself as a man of peace, during a tour of the Darfur region where he is accused of carrying out genocide.

Mr. Bashir addressed thousands of supporters during an outdoor rally in the town of El-Geneina in the western part of Darfur. He vowed to work for peace and the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees.

President Bashir told the crowd that Sudan does not need anyone to show the country how to achieve peace.

On July 14, the International Criminal Court indicted President Bashir on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur. Speaking at a rally in northern Darfur Wednesday, Mr. Bashir dismissed the ICC charges as an attempt to discredit his government.

Many world leaders have expressed concern that the indictment could lead to further violence and instability in the already troubled country.

Violence in the Darfur region has been carried out by rebels, government forces, and the Janjaweed militia. The violence has killed some 300,000 people and displaced two million others since 2003.

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