Behind the screen: In this March 16, 2012 file photo, United States actor George Clooney (center) and Representative Jim Moran of Virginia (left) from the Democratic Party are led to a police vehicle after being arrested during a protest at the Sudan Embassy in Washington, DC. (AP/Cliff Owen)
Indonesian nationals in Sudan, mostly students, are safe despite the widespread anti-government protests there, an envoy says.
“Insya Allah [God willing], Indonesian nationals are safe,” Indonesian Ambassador to Sudan Sujatmiko said on Saturday when contacted by Antara news agency from Cairo, Egypt.
“I’ve checked today and there are no problems with any Indonesian nationals here.”
An Indonesian student living in Sudan confirmed the situation.
“Alhamdulillah [Praise God], protests have not affected Indonesian students so far. All students are safe,” said Abdul Salam Bugis, who is taking a Master’s degree at the International University of Africa in Sudan.
The former chief of the Indonesian Students’ Association in Sudan said there were a total of 350 Indonesian students in Sudan, with most of them living in Khartoum, the country’s capital, and Ommu Durman.
Sujatmiko said the situation in Sudan was still “under control” and was not “as dangerous as reported by the media”.
Middle Eastern media reported that anti-government protests had spread to the outskirts of Khartoum, including to Ommu Durman.
“Anti-government protests have entered the seventh day and have spread beyond Khartoum,” said the headline of the main front page story of an influential newspaper in the Middle East, Al Hayat, on Saturday.
The major network, Aljazeera, reported how protests against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s regime had expanded.
“The winds of change are blowing in Sudan,” said Suaib Tahir, an Indonesian in Sudan, as quoted by Antara, referring to the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings that have taken place in several Middle Eastern countries. (mtq)