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Sudan appoints new intelligence chief after crushing mutiny

Authorities accuse the agency's former chief of orchestrating the rebellion [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 January, 2020

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Five people were killed when agents from the intelligence agency's former military wing rebelled over their severance pay.
Sudan on Thursday appointed a new intelligence chief to replace the general who resigned after government forces crushed a deadly mutiny launched by members of the country's security agency.

The new appointee, Lieutenant General Jamalabdel Majid, previously served as head of army intelligence, a post he assumed after the ousting of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April last year.

Five people, including two soldiers, were killed when agents of the General Intelligence Service, formerly known as the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), launched their rebellion from several of their bases in Khartoum on Tuesday.

Officials say the mutineers were not satisfied with the amount of severance pay offered to them for taking retirement as part of a restructuring plan proposed by Sudan's new authorities.

The much-feared NISS was disbanded by the country's transitional government last year and replaced with the General Intelligence Service. NISS agents have been given the choice to integrate into the country's armed forces or resign.

The rebellion was crushed by government forces after several hours of intense gunfire.

On Wednesday, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, chairman of Sudan's ruling sovereign council, announced that the head of the security agency, General Abu Bakr Mustafa, had offered his resignation.

"The sovereign council in a meeting today accepted the resignation of General Abu Bakr Mustafa and appointed Lieutenant General Jamalabdel Majid as the new chief of intelligence," the council said on Thursday.

The NISS was at the forefront of the crackdown on protests against Bashir that erupted in December 2018.

Burhan said the rebellion was launched by the military wing of the intelligence service, which was set up the agency's former chief Salah Gosh under Bashir's regime.

He said such a military wing was no longer necessary in Sudan.

Sudanese authorities have accused Gosh of orchestrating the mutiny and termed Tuesday's bloody events an attempted coup. Critics of the military have cast doubt on those claims.

Gosh fled the country last year after resigning his post in April. He is presumed to be living in Egypt.


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