Sudan spy chief resigns after mutiny crushed

Civilians gather near the area where gunmen opened fire outside buildings used by Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (Niss) in Khartoum, Sudan January 14, 2020. — Reuters pic
Civilians gather near the area where gunmen opened fire outside buildings used by Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (Niss) in Khartoum, Sudan January 14, 2020. — Reuters pic

KHARTOUM, Jan 16 — Sudan said yesterday the country's chief of intelligence had resigned after government forces and paramilitaries crushed a mutiny launched by members of his agency in the capital.

General Abu Bakr Mustafa handed over his resignation after clashes between agents of the General Intelligence Service, formerly known as the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), and government forces killed five people including two soldiers.

“He called us by telephone and we asked him to give a written resignation -- which he did. We are now examining it,” the chairman of Sudan's ruling transitional council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, told state television yesterday.

On Tuesday, heavy gunfire broke out at several Khartoum bases of the intelligence agency after some of its agents rejected a retirement plan proposed by the country's new authorities.

NISS agents were at the forefront of a crackdown on protesters during a nationwide uprising that led to the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir last April.

Late on Tuesday, troops from the regular army and from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) crushed the rebellion after storming these bases amid heavy gunfire.

Burhan's deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo — who else heads the RSF — has blamed the former chief of NISS, Salah Gosh, for the rebellion.

General Mustafa had been appointed as chief of the newly named General Intelligence Service after Gosh resigned in the wake of Bashir's fall. — AFP