The International Criminal Court recently indicted Sudan’s president for war crimes including pillaging, rape, torture, and murder—and sources say he’ll soon be charged with genocide—but Omar al-Bashir claims the 300,000 reported civilian deaths since the conflict in Darfur began in 2003 are greatly exaggerated. The country’s campaign against African rebel groups has increasingly targeted civilians over the past six years, but Bashir tells the BBC he had a responsibility to fight the insurgency. “We have never fought against our citizens, we have not killed our citizens,” he said. Bashir claims rebel groups are using human shields, and he estimates the death toll at less than a tenth of the 300,000 reported by the United Nations.
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