September 20, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese security forces tightened security around a number of Western embassies in Khartoum in anticipation of a new wave of protests after Friday prayer following the publication of new anti-Islam cartoons in France .
Last week protesters attacked German and U.S. embassies in Khartoum following the release of an anti-Islam movie. German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle protested against the attack and called on Sudanese authorities to provide "comprehensive protection" to the mission, stressing that " diplomats need to be able to carry out their work without fear."
The security measures came after calls by Islamic groups and student organisations in Khartoum to protest after Friday prayer against the publication of new anti-Islam cartoons by a French satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo.
The protest is planned to move to the French embassy from the mosque of the University of Khartoum on Friday afternoon.
The police vehicles were deployed nearby the western embassies in the Sudanese capital including German and British missions.
The French government distanced itself from the cartoons as foreign minister Laurent Fabuis said their publication was an irresponsible decision by the newspaper. Paris also decided to temporarily close its embassies, consulates, cultural centres and schools in more than 20 Islamic countries.
On Thursday Fabius asked the governments of the concerned countries to take special security measures to protect French diplomatic missions and other premises. He also urged French diplomats and nationals in the countries to keep alert.
GERMANY CALL OFF SUDAN CONFERENCE
In Khartoum, the foreign ministry said that Germany has decided to postpone a conference aiming to promote economic investment in Sudan, and a new date will fixed later.
Al-Obeid Marawah, foreign ministry spokesperson, said German foreign minister Westerwelle in a letter sent to his Sudanese counterpart decided to adjourn the economic conference initially scheduled to be held next month.
Westerwelle said the protesters who stormed the embassy damaged the consular service and all the documents related to the preparations of the conference.
Germany, one of few Western countries to have good economic ties with Sudan, planned to hold a conference on mid-October to push German companies to work in the east African country. The economic forum was expecting to gather German and European groups interested by Sudan.