Senior general accuses Bashir's former intelligence chief of orchestrating mutiny

Senior general accuses Bashir's former intelligence chief of orchestrating mutiny
Intelligence agency buildings were back under government control and airspace reopened in Sudan, as Gen. Mohammad Dagalo accused Salah Gosh of orchestrating an insurgency launched by former NISS members.
3 min read
15 January, 2020
Security units were deployed in heavy numbers across the city [Getty]
A senior member of Sudan's ruling Sovereign Council, Gen. Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo, accused former intelligence chief Gen Salah Gosh of orchestrating a rebellion suppressed by Sudanese authorities, in a news conference on Tuesday

The former intelligence chief, whose whereabouts are unknown, allegedly worked in tandem with "other members of National Congress party, incuding some generals from the intelligence service"

"He has many generals active within the security sector with an aim to create confusion and fighting," Dagalo said. 

Dagalo did not downplay the suggestion that "foreign forces" played a role in the revolt in the hastily organised presser, held in Juda in South Sudan, while holding the intelligence agency directly responsible for failing to disarm officers who had been dismissed.

The mutiny, led by former intelligence agents loyal to ousted ruler Omar al-Bashir, was quashed by Sudanese authorities on Tuesday evening.

Headquarters of the intelligence agency were bought under government control and the country's airspace re-opened, after rogue officers fired into the air throughout the day, in what began as a "protest" against what they deemed unfair severance pay.

Two soldiers were killed and four other injured in the unrest, as the Sudanese capital wintessed the most significant confrontation between forces loyal to Bashir and those at the helm of the new administration.

Videos on social media showed armed clashes as security units were deployed in heavy numbers across Khartom.

In a statement to the media on Wednesday, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, chairman of the country's interim ruling government, reassured his country:

"The Sudanese State, with all its components, including its armed forces and security forces, its sovereign and ministerial council, and the Forces of Freedom and Change alliance, stood united in the face of a conspiracy against the revolution of the Sudanese people"

Burhan added that he would never allow a coup to take place. 

Sudan's General Intelligence Service explained that it managed convinced its former members to hand over their weapons "through negotiations" Associated Press reported.

Heavy gunfire had erupted in Khartoum, after agents who belonged to the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), a powerful security arm of Bashir's, objected to the financial compensation offered to them in the aftermath of their dismantling, part of an overhaul of the much-feared intelligence agency. 

Masked members of the unit donned military uniform and set up various checkpoints through major streets in the Sudanese capital, while firing shots into the air in a show of force, according to eyewitnesses.

Read more: Sudanese forces stop military rebellion at bases of forer-Bashir loyalists over restructuring plans

According to The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site, a rocket was fired in the region of Soba, southeast of Khartoum, hitting a family home, killing a father and his two sons inside.

While details surrounding the attack remain unclear, live rounds fired by the rebellious soldiers in the capital, whose anger was intensified after being handed the options of either retirement of joining a new paramilitary group, struck a young boy, The New Arab also reported.  

Authorities closed Sudan's airspace for five hours as a precautionary measure after the start of the shooting.

The NISS had played a major part in the month-long crackdown against the protest movement in Sudan last year, which lead to the overthrow of the former president. 

Agencies contributed to this report.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay connected