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Visits of foreign diplomats to protest site enrage Sudan’s officials

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US Chargé d'affaires in Khartoum Steven Koutsis with the protesters at the sit-in outside the army headquarters on 8 May 2019 (Photo US Embassy)
May 12, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Angered by the obvious sympathy expressed by Western diplomats to the opposition supporters, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry on Sunday called on the Western diplomatic missions in Khartoum to abide by customary international law and diplomatic conventions.

Sudan Tribune has learned that the Sudanese military council is enraged by successive visits by European and U.S. diplomats to the sit-in area around the Sudanese army headquarters last week and their public support for the opposition’s demands to accelerate the transfer of power to a civilian rule.

"All the visits by Western ambassadors, including the head of the EU mission to the sit-inners were carried out without coordination with the Foreign Ministry, which should be notified of movements in dangerous sites so as to be able to provide protection in accordance with its international obligations," said a Sudanese diplomat on the cover of anonymity.

Diplomats of the United States, Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Sweden and France, as well as the head of the EU mission in Khartoum, witnessed a steady stream of visitors.ritain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Sweden and France, as well as the head of the EU mission in Khartoum, visited the sit-in during the past days.

Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ilham Ibrahim Mohammed, met Sunday with heads of missions of the European countries, the United States and Canada accredited to Khartoum.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Babikir al-Siddiq said in a press statement that the official thanked the foreign diplomats for their interest and concern about the political developments in the country.

The undersecretary further affirmed Sudan’s commitment to the international conventions reiterated pledge to protect and secure diplomatic missions and its members.

"In return, diplomatic representatives must comply with their obligations in compliance with international conventions, covenants and diplomatic practice," stressed the spokesperson.

The Sudanese opposition supporters at the sit-in have set a security committee wearing red vests tasked with the protection of all the visitors and guests.

During his last visit to the sit-in, US Chargé d’affaires Steven Koutsis has was protected by several red vests. The police and other regular forces have no presence inside the protest site.

(ST)

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