Sudan's president lashes out at western interference in Darfur

Sudan's government does not want war but is ready for it, President Omar al-Bashir warned Saturday during a rare show of public support for a paramilitary force accused of atrocities in the western Sudanese region of Darfur. "We will not seek war, but if imposed on us we are ready," al-Bashir told a rally to mark the 18th anniversary of the Popular Defense Forces, a militia he created to fight southern rebels and that has since been unleashed on Darfur. He also accused western powers backing a 26,000-strong UN and African Union force due in Darfur in January of lying about their motives to end four years of bloodshed. "Those Americans, those British, and those Europeans are not keen about the people of Darfur, or the people of southern Sudan or the Sudanese people," he said.