September 14, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Three Sudanese political groups have issued statements condemning the violent events that took place on Friday during protests around Western diplomatic missions in Khartoum against an anti-Islam film made in the US.
- Photo of the German embassy in Khartoum being set on fire by protesters angry over an anti-Islam film made in the U.S. (ST)
Four people are believed to have died - although police put the death toll at two - and dozens sustained injuries during violent protests on Friday around the US embassy in Khartoum and other Western diplomatic missions including the British and German embassies against the film, “Innocence of Muslims” which disparages Islam and its prophet Mohammed.
The demonstrations were part of a region-wide protest movement against the film which already led to the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Libya on Tuesday.
Sudan Change Now (SCN), an opposition group, equally condemned the film and the manners in which the protests were conducted.
“SCN condemns any offence to all religious sanctities under any justification and recall that freedoms of one ends when the freedom and right of others are being violated” a statement from the group said.
However, it also condemned “violence and destruction as unacceptable and uncivilized means of expressing opinions against this film and their use represents a crime against the entire community”
SCN blamed Al-Tayyib Mustafa, the leader of a far-right political group called the Just Peace Forum (JPF) and owner of its mouthpiece Al-Intibaha newspaper, and the government of being responsible for instigating the protests through “purposeful misinformation and propaganda and hate speech”
Another opposition group, the Islamist Popular Congress Party (PCP) led by Hassan Al-Turabi, said in a statement on Friday that the party “condemns in the strongest terms any form of offences against religions and prophets”
It also, however, condemned the attack on Western diplomatic missions describing it as an action that does not represent Sudanese people and neglects the fact that diplomats are guests who should be treated with respect and in accordance with the teachings of Islam and international diplomatic norms.
“We hold the authorities responsible for what happened and they have to protect diplomatic missions and their staff from the aggression of those who offends Islam by such kind of actions” the PCP statement concluded.
Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), a rebel group from the country’s western region of Darfur and led by Abdel Wahid Nur, denounced the “barbaric and outrageous” attacks on Western embassies in Sudan and around the world.
In a statement undersigned by its official spokesperson Nimir Mohammed Abdel Rahman, SLM accused the “radical Islamists” in Khartoum of “stirring [up] emotions against Western targets”
“There is no justification to hold American Government or western citizens responsible for acts which is not their making, because these countries are neither enemies of Islam nor of Sudan and contributed heavily to bring democracy, stability and prosperity to countries around the globe and to alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people” the group said.