Sudan's Bashir admits N Darfur bombing raids
Rebel commanders in northern Darfur said on Monday that government aircraft had hit three villages over the weekend - claims the Sudanese government strongly denied.I can see his point. But Sudan Watch archives from a year or two ago show how Khartoum promised (in order to avoid a no fly zone) not to use bombers over Darfur.
But in an exclusive BBC interview broadcast on Wednesday, President Bashir confirmed his troops had carried out the bombardments.
He said the government had no option but to strike as 80% of attacks on civilians in the region were carried out by rebels groups, undermining security.
"They are not supported by the government. The government is fighting them," he said.
After the signing of a peace agreement with a leading rebel group in May, rival rebels formed a new alliance called the National Salvation Front, he told the BBC.
President Bashir said the group had received "massive military support in full view of the international community" and set out to target those who had signed the peace deal.
Militias have since carried out large-scale attacks on Sudan Liberation Movement positions in northern Darfur, controlling its movements, the president said.
"We heard no condemnation of this movement or the countries supporting it.
"But as soon as we were forced to send armed troops to deal with it we heard talk of violations and a ceasefire breach," he said.
Note BBC news report Jan 22, 2007 re Sudanese planes 'bombing Darfur'.