[dehai-news] (Reuters): Sudan protesters call for attacks on Westerners-US

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Jan 07 2009 - 09:06:55 EST

Sudan protesters call for attacks on Westerners-US

Wed Jan 7, 2009 8:24am GMT

By Andrew Heavens

KHARTUOM, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Sudanese protesters have called for attacks on
Americans and other foreigners living in Khartoum during rallies against the
Gaza offensive, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

Students and religious groups have held small-scale protests almost every
day since Israel started the attack on Gaza it says is in response to
Islamist militants firing rockets into Israel.

The U.S. embassy in Khartoum said some protesters "have made threats against
U.S. and other Western citizens in Sudan".

At least one speaker at a rally outside the embassy on Monday read out read
out a list of places and neighbourhoods where Westerners are known to
gather, the embassy said.

The list included Khartoum's Afra shopping centre; Amwag, a Middle Eastern
restaurant; and O-Zone, an open air cafe popular with Westerners and rich

The threats come against the backdrop of an expected ruling from the
International Criminal Court on whether to issue an arrest warrant against
Sudan's president over suspected war crimes in Darfur.

A senior official from Sudan's Foreign Ministry told Reuters on Monday an
arrest warrant would fuel anti-Western sentiments already heightened by Gaza
and promised to give diplomats advance warning if they were in danger.

Sudanese officials have said the global court's case is part of a Western
conspiracy against Khartoum, led by the United States, Britain and France.

The U.S. embassy said protesters were hoping to hold a large rally in the
capital on Wednesday or Thursday, and advised its citizens to keep a low

The United States advised its staff to stay away from O-Zone cafe in
October, saying it had evidence a group called "Al Qaeda in the Land of the
Two Niles" had threatened U.S. citizens.

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court asked judges in
July to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir,
accusing him of orchestrating genocide in Sudan's western Darfur region. The
judges are widely expected to decide on his request in coming weeks.

International experts say 200,000 have died since mostly non-Arab rebels in
Darfur took up arms against the government in 2003, accusing Khartoum of

C Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved


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