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New Darfur administrator seen as 'bad cop'

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The veteran Sudanese politician now in charge of Darfur is a hardliner seen as a possible successor to President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, analysts say.

Nafie Ali Nafie, recently tapped by Khartoum to administer Darfur, dismisses Western charges that Sudan armed and trained Muslim militias to conduct a genocide against black African tribes in the region, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. He has often played the "bad cop" role within the country's ruling regime and is among its rising stars, the U.S. newspaper said.

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"The West is using Darfur to destabilize Sudan because Sudan is seen as a rebel government and a bad example for the rest of Africa," Nafie told the newspaper. "The endgame is to install a puppet, or at least weak, government so they can take our oil."

Human rights activists say Muslim militias have caused the deaths of at least 200,000 in Darfar, conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign.

"(Nafie) was my interrogator," Farouk Mohammed Ibrahim, a former professor arrested in 1989, told the Times. "I was tortured, beaten, flogged in his presence. He was administering the whole thing. He did it all in such a cool manner, as if he were sipping a coffee."

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