Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sudan rejects request to allow entry of U.S Marines in its territory

Kashmiri college students shout slogans during a protest against the controversial anti-Islam movie "Innocence of Muslims" in Srinagar, summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, Sept. 15, 2012. The students at University of Kashmir in Srinagar staged protests to show their anger against the controversial movie. (Xinhua/Javed Dar)
KHARTOUM, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Sudan on Saturday rejected an official U.S. request to allow the entry of U.S. Marine infantry troops to its territories to enhance the protection around its embassy in Sudan following recent bloody protests in Khartoum.
"The U.S. State Department has filed an official request to Sudan to allow entry of a team of U.S. marines under the pretext of enhancing the protection around the American embassy," Al-Obaid Ahmed Mirawih, spokesman of Sudan's Foreign Ministry, told Xinhua.
"Ali Karti, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, apologized on the request and reiterated that the Sudanese authorities are capable of protecting all the diplomatic missions in Khartoum," he added.
On Friday, massive demonstrations broke out in the Sudanese capital Khartoum where thousands of protesters attacked the German and British embassies in Khartoum and then attempted to storm the U.S. embassy in protest against a movie that insults the Prophet Mohamed and which has triggered protests across the Arab and Islamic countries.
At least three protesters were killed during the protest on Friday near the U.S. embassy when they were hit by a police vehicle, while some 50 other civilians and policemen were injured.
In the meantime, U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden was reported to have called his Sudanese counterpart Ali Osman Mohamed Taha on Friday and urged him to ensure the protection of the diplomats in Khartoum.

Meanwhile the U.S. State Department on Saturday ordered non-essential staff to leave Sudan and Tunisia where anti-American protests broke out over a film that insults the Prophet Mohammed. "Given the security situation in Tunis and Khartoum, the State Department has ordered the departure of all family members and non- emergency personnel from both posts, and issued parallel travel warnings to American citizens," department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
U.S. embassies in Sudan and Tunisia came under attack by protesters in the past two days, as fresh wave of violence sparked by the controversial film have targeted American diplomatic facilities in a growing number of countries.
In Tunis, at least three protesters have died in clashes. And in Sudan's capital of Khartoum, at least three people were also killed as protesters attempted to force their way into the U.S. embassy.
The deadly protests prompted the State Department to warn Americans against traveling to the two countries.
"The airport in Tunis is open and U.S. citizens are encouraged to depart by commercial air," the agency said in a travel warning.
"The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Sudan, urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Darfur region of Sudan, the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, and advises you to consider carefully the risks of travel in other areas of Sudan," the department said in a separate updated travel warning.
"The terrorist threat level throughout Sudan, and particularly in the Darfur region, remains critical," the agency added.
Washington was shocked to learn the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other envoys on Tuesday night, when hundreds of angry protesters broke into and set ablaze the U.S. consulate building in Benghazi in eastern Libya.
President Barack Obama has ordered boosted security for American diplomatic posts around the world, and sent security forces to both Libya and Yemen.

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