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I Want to Step Down in 2020, Says Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has said that he will step down in 2020 after his current term in office ends.

When Omar al-Bashir seized power in Sudan in a bloodless coup in June 1989, he was a relatively unknown army officer - now he is famous, or infamous, all around the world.

"In 2020, there will be a new president and I will be an ex-president," Bashir said in an interview on Thursday.

Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, seized power in a 1989 coup.

The 72-year-old career soldier won a new term last April in elections marred by international criticism, poor turnout and an opposition boycott.

Bashir had previously said he would not run in the 2015 elections.

He told the press that his job was "exhausting" and that he would not stand in elections slated for 2020.

Bashir was indicted by the ICC over alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide charges related to the Darfur conflict.

Ethnic minority insurgents rebelled against him in 2003 saying the western region was being marginalised and Bashir unleashed a campaign to crush them using troops, militia and jet planes.

The United Nations says some 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict and there are more than 2.5 million displaced people in the region, but Khartoum gives much lower figures.

Fierce fighting in Darfur’s Jebel Marra area since January has forced at least 100,000 people to flee their homes, according to the UN.

In his interview, Bashir denied reports his forces had carried out abuses in Jebel Marra.

By Robert Muriisa.

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