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[Published: Sunday March 08 2009]

Sudan leader's warning in Darfur

Khartoum, 08 March-(ANA)-Sudan's president has issued a warning to peacekeepers, diplomats and aid staff while visting Darfur, in the wake of a war crimes warrant against him.

Omar al-Bashir said all foreign missions in Sudan must obey the law or face expulsion, as he visited the North Darfur capital of El Fasher.

Mr Bashir was greeted by thousands of flag-waving supporters, many riding camels and horses.

Correspondents described the trip as a calculated show of defiance.

The UN estimates that 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million displaced in Darfur, since black African rebels took up arms in 2003 against the Arab-dominated regime demanding a greater share of resources and power.

Analysts say Mr Bashir placed himself in some personal danger by visiting El Fasher, despite the heavy security, because most people in Darfur are said to support the war crimes indictment against him. (ANA)

FA/ANA/08 March 2009---

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