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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rebels Slam UN for Failing to Charge Sudan With Genocide

KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Rebels from the Darfur region of western Sudan said Tuesday a UN report was mistaken in failing to accuse the Sudan government and allied Arab militias of genocide in the Darfur conflict.

"If this report says there is no genocide in Darfur then we reject this report," Justice and Equality Movement leader Khalil Ibrahim said by telephone from his headquarters in the Eritrean capital, Asmara.

"There are hundreds of mass graves that the commission did not go to," he said, adding the decision to stop short of a genocide finding was political.

Abdel Wahed Mohamed al-Nur, the leader of the main rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Movement, said the report was incomplete because UN investigators did not have access to areas where the worst fighting took place.

"But I am sure that the international community will in the future gain access to these areas in Darfur and will realize that genocide has occurred against our people here," said Nur, a former lawyer.

The UN report, released Monday, recommended that unnamed government officials and militia leaders be referred to the International Criminal Court for widespread and systematic abuses, which may constitute crimes against humanity but did not amount to genocide.

The United States said last year genocide had occurred in Darfur.

Sudan's ambassador to Britain, Hassan Abdin, told the BBC in London: "We are grateful to the international commission for exonerating the Sudanese government of committing genocide ... There was no genocide in Sudan."