But in an exclusive interview with the Guardian, his first with a western news organisation since he was charged with genocide by the international criminal court (ICC), Bashir accuses the UN-backed court of "double standards" and conducting a "campaign of lies".
Britain and other western countries were pursuing a politically motivated vendetta against him with the ultimate aim of forcing regime change in Sudan as well as in neighbouring Libya, he said.
"Of course, I am the president so I am responsible about everything happening in the country," Bashir said when asked about the conflict in Darfur, in western Sudan, where fighting is continuing despite international peace efforts.
"Everything happening, it is a responsibility. But what happened in Darfur, first of all, it was a traditional conflict taking place from the colonial days.
"As a government we fought the ones who were carrying arms against the state, but also some of the insurgents attacked some tribes … so we had human losses. But it is not close to the numbers being mentioned in the western media, these numbers are in fact being exaggerated for a reason," he said. "It is a duty for the government to fight the insurgents, but we did not fight the people of Darfur."
The UN estimates up to 300,000 people died and about 2.7 million were internally displaced as a result of fighting between government forces and their Janjaweed militia allies and the separatist rebel groups in Darfur that peaked in 2003-4. Sudan's government says about 10,000 people died and about 70,000 were displaced.
An international outcry prompted a UN investigation that led the security council to refer the case to the ICC in 2005. In March 2009 Bashir became the first serving head of state to be indicted by the ICC, on seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Three counts of genocide were added in July last year, accusing Bashir in his capacity as president and commander-in-chief of the Sudanese armed forces. Bashir denies all the charges and has refused to surrender to the court.
John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, a leading anti-genocide pressure group based in Washington, dismissed Bashir's justification of his policy in Darfur. "In my eight trips to Darfur since 2003, the overwhelming evidence demonstrates that a government-sponsored counter-insurgency targeted non-Arab civilian populations by destroying their dwellings, their food stocks, their livestock, their water sources and anything else that would sustain life in Darfur," Prendergast said.
"Three million people have been rendered homeless as a direct result of government policy, not tribal fighting or global warming."
The ICC describes the arrest warrant as "pending" but Bashir said the case against him was wholly political.
Sudan was not a party to the ICC treaty and could not be expected to abide by its provisions, he said. This was also the case with the US, China and Russia.
"It is a political issue and double standards, because there are obvious crimes like Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, but [they] did not find their way to the international criminal court," he said.
"The same decision in which [the] Darfur case [was] being transferred to the court stated that the American soldiers [in Iraq and Afghanistan] would not be questioned by the court, so it is not about justice, it is a political issue."
Bashir launched a fierce personal attack on Luis Moreno Ocampo, the ICC's chief prosecutor since 2003, who he said had repeatedly lied in order to damage his reputation and standing.
"The behaviour of the prosecutor of the court, it was clearly the behaviour of a political activist not a legal professional. He is now working on a big campaign to add more lies," he said.
"The biggest lie was when he said I have $9bn in one of the British banks, and thank God, the British bank and the [British] finance minister … denied these allegations.
"The clearest cases in the world such as Palestine and Iraq and Afghanistan, clear crimes to the whole humanity – all were not transferred to the court."
Louise Arbour, a former UN high commissioner for human rights and Hague war crimes prosecutor, said: "The crimes committed against millions of civilians in Darfur cannot simply be shrugged off. If Bashir wants to argue that he was not responsible for the atrocities, he should go to The Hague and make his case there."
Turning to Libya, Bashir criticised the US, Britain and France for their military intervention, saying their motives were questionable and their actions risked destabilising Sudan and the wider region.
Their undeclared aim in Libya and Sudan was regime change, he said.
But Khartoum would not offer sanctuary to the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, whose removal from power has been demanded by western powers, he added. "This would cause trouble with the Libyan people which we don't need," he said.
"We know that Libya is an important country, it has an important location and long coast on the Mediterranean sea which is facing Europe. In addition to that, the resources of Libya like petrol make it important to other countries like France, Britain and Europe in general.
"It is important for them to see a regime in Libya that would be, if not loyal, friendly toward those countries.
"Regarding us, they [the US, Britain and France] were trying to change the regime in Sudan since 20 years, this is not new news for us.
"We say about the Europeans, we have noticed some positive change in their situation regarding the way they deal with Sudan. The US is being polarised by different power centres, influential power centres inside the US. They are still aiming to change the regime in Sudan."
Asked how the "Arab spring" uprisings might affect Sudan, where Arabic speakers comprise a large majority of the northern population, Bashir said the small protests calling for increased democracy lacked broad support. "It will not have an impact like what happened in Egypt, Tunisia or even Libya, I don't think so."
A reform process was already underway, he said.