March 24, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The US embassy in Khartoum will resume full consular services on Monday, following a six month closure after the compound was targeted in violent protests in the Sudanese capital.
- U.S. embassy in Khartoum, (photo Department of State)
According to a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday, the embassy announced that the consular section will resume services for American citizens and will once again be offering visitors’ visas.
The embassy’s information resource centre, which offers books, journals, DVDs, videos, online resources and free internet, will also re-open to the public.
The diplomatic mission has essentially offered only emergency services since 14 September when thousands of protesters attacked the American, British and German embassies in Khartoum, after a wave of anti-western sentiment swept the Islamic world, sparked by a US-made film seen to be denigrating the prophet Mohammad.
Two Sudanese protesters died after thousands of demonstrators attempted to break in to the embassy in Khartoum’s outer suburb of Soba.
The Sudanese government mobilised some 250 police force to protect the compound, with security forces managing to push back demonstrations, including three protestors who managed to scale the perimeter wall.
Protesters had initially targeted the German embassy, storming through the outer wall and setting fire to a car near the gates before moving on to the nearby British embassy, which suffered only minor damage in the attack.
Following the incident, the US State Department announced it was withdrawing all non-essential diplomatic staff in Sudan, also issuing parallel travel warnings to American citizens.
An emergency message issued by the embassy informing American citizens in Khartoum of the closure, urged them to avoid coming to the embassy “for any reason”.
The Sudanese government reportedly denied a request by the US to send a specialised team of anti-terrorism marines to protect its mission in Khartoum.
US embassies across the Muslim and Arab world were targeted in a series of violent protests as outrage over the low-budget film spread, including Libya, where US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other employees were killed when demonstrators stormed the consulate.