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Sudan's intelligence Chief resigns after attempted coup

By Abuga Makori in Nairobi , Garowe Online

KHARTOUM, Sudan - Sudan's spy chief Abu Bakr Mustafa has stepped down two days after a revolt in the capital Khartoum, the sovereign council said, adding that the request is under consideration.

At least five people died on Tuesday following a botched mutiny believed to have been waged by members of the spy agency, state media said.

Military officers jointly with government-friendly militia foiled the mutiny that left two soldiers dead and three civilians, authorities said.

The disgruntled National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) is said to have opposed drastic changes being undertaken in the country.

He took over one year ago

“The director of intelligence has resigned. He called us by telephone and we asked him to submit a written resignation, so we are now considering it,” General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's sovereign council, told state television on Wednesday.

Abdalla Hamdok, the Prime Minister of the transitional government, however, said the resignation has since been accepted for the "sake of stability".

After consultation with Lt. Gen Burhan, Hamdok tweeted, they have settled on Gen. Jamal Abdelmajeed as the new intelligence boss.

"In search of stability for Sudan, and after discussions with Lt. Gen Burhan, I am glad to announce our joint decision to accept the resignation of Gen Abu-Bakr," he said.

The Prime Minister, who took over after ouster of Omar Al-Bashir, added that "we have appointed Gen Jamal Abdelmajeed instead."

Mustafa was appointed the head of the powerful General Intelligence Service, formerly National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), shortly after the resignation of Salah Gosh in April last year.

Mutiny linked to Al-Bashir

Preliminary reports indicate that the mutiny was waged by officers close to the deposed Sudanese leader Al-Bashir, who is currently in jail.

There was no immediate evidence however, linking the embattled leader to the latest in security concern in the North African nation.

By Wednesday, normalcy was restored by the government security forces, leading to the opening of Khartoum airport, Hamdok said.

A curfew had been temporarily imposed in Khartoum, with several dignitaries including Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto holed up at the airport.

Professionals condemn the mutiny

Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella of several trade unions, has said Tuesday's riot was an attempt to drag the country into the circle of violence.

"We call all people to raise the level of organization and willingness to confront all the scenarios that seek to back down from the people's dues for which the blood of the martyrs and the precious sacrifices were made," SPA said in a statement.

The group played a major role in the ouster of Mr. Al-Bashir, who was recently convicted of mass corruption and money laundering.

For almost six months, the group coordinated deadly protests which forced the military to intervene by asking Al-Bashir to resign, state media said.

Al-Bashir is currently facing another crime in which he's accused of masterminding the 1989 coup which helped him to ascend to power.


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