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|| DARFUR ARCHIVES|
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|February 21, 2011|
Sudan's President Omar al Bashir seized power by coup in 1989. In 2009 he was indicted by the ICC for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the people of the Darfur region. The NYTimes reports " But now, said Rabie A. Atti, a Sudanese government spokesman, Mr. Bashir 'has no will to be a president again.'He said the chance should be given to the next generation," Mr. Rabie said. "He will work to establish a real democratic system in our country."
Mr. Rabie said the decision - and timing - had "nothing, nothing at all" to do with the popular revolts against longstanding autocrats now erupting across the Arab world, which have inspired relatively small but spirited protests in Sudan as well.
"In Egypt, there was a gap between the rulers and the people, but not in our country," Mr. Rabie said. In Sudan, he said, the rulers "live with the people."
Many Sudanese would disagree with that claim. Mouysar Hassan, a 22-year-old student who had joined recent demonstrations, dismissed the announcement as "just an attempt to anesthetize the street." Mr. Bashir won a presidential election last year that outside observers said was tainted by fraud, intimidation and bribery, and his term expires in 2015.
Will Al Bashir be the next to be ousted? Lots of people are hoping and preparing for this. The stakes could not be higher for the protestors. There is no more brutal leader on this planet, including Libya's Moammar Qadafi.