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Britain Protests Sudanese Security

August 23, 1998

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) _ The British Embassy has protested to Sudan over its failure to provide security when a crowd stoned the embassy and tore down the British flag.

``Although we were assured that the forces would turn up, unfortunately they did not arrive in time to prevent extensive damage to the embassy,″ British spokesman Julian Reilly said Sunday.

About 500 demonstrators demonstrated at the embassy Saturday to protest British support for Thursday’s U.S. missile attack on a pharmaceutical plant in north Khartoum. Protesters threw rocks at the brick embassy, breaking 52 windows.

One demonstrator entered the embassy grounds, climbed the flagpole and cut down the Union Jack. The crowd tore it to pieces and then dispersed within an hour.

No one was hurt, but Reilly said the damage could run into tens of thousands of dollars.

The embassy made several requests for security from Sudan’s embassy police and the Foreign Ministry, but police showed up only after the crowd dispersed.

``We do think they could have done better,″ Reilly said.

The embassy advised the 250 British citizens in Sudan to ``remain vigilant.″

Sudanese Information Minister Ghazi Salah el-Din refused to comment on the lack of security.

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