Khartoum (AFP) - About 300 fundamentalists in Sudan branded France a "criminal" and called for jihad during a Friday rally in support of Muslims in the Central African Republic, an AFP reporter saw.
"France is the chief criminal in Central Africa," said one sign carried by the protesters, many of them bearded, outside the main mosque in central Khartoum.
Other banners, written in Arabic, French and English, called French President Francois Hollande a war criminal and urged Muslim countries to "boycott" France.
The protesters shouted "Jihad!" and "Allahu Akbar! (God is greatest)".
Two thousand French and 6,000 African peacekeepers have been deployed to Central Africa, which borders Sudan, on a mission to halt sectarian killings.
The Central African Republic descended into chaos nearly a year ago after rebels from the mainly Muslim Seleka group seized power in a coup, after which some mounted a campaign of abuses, prompting the formation of Christian-dominated vigilante groups.
Michel Djotodia, the Seleka leader who became the country's first Muslim president, was forced to quit in January, but the self-defence groups have in turn escaped the control of the authorities and continue to commit atrocities in an ongoing sectarian conflict.
A Sudanese court last month jailed for three years a Central African Republic man after he stabbed a Russian diplomat and his wife outside their embassy, which is near France's diplomatic mission.
Police said he asked if they were French and then knifed them, in an extremely rare case of violent crime against foreigners in Sudan.
The Sudanese demonstrators, calling themselves the Popular Front to Support African Muslims, peacefully dispersed and vowed to protest at the French embassy next Friday.
Sudanese police and plainclothes security agents monitoring the protest did not intervene, as they normally do when demonstrations try to express opposition to the country's Islamist regime.
According to the official SUNA news agency, Sudan last month expressed to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation its "concern and condemnation over the killing and violence being committed against the Muslims in the Central African Republic".