Joint military-legal team to investigate Sudan mutiny

A joint military-legal team, headed by a lieutenant general, will investigate the revolt of the Operations Authority forces on Tuesday, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan said on Wednesday. The director of the General Intelligence Service (GIS) has resigned.

Sudan Armed Forces contain the situation in Khartoum, January 14, 2020 (Social media)

A joint military-legal team, headed by a lieutenant general, will investigate the revolt of the Operations Authority forces on Tuesday, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Chairman of the Sovereign Council, said on Wednesday.

In an interview with the Sudanese Satellite Channel, he also reported that the director of the General Intelligence Service (GIS), Abubakir Dambalab, has tendered his resignation.

On Tuesday, combatants of the former security apparatus’ Operations Authority fired in the air with machine guns and blocked a number of roads in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, allegedly in protest against what they considered low after-service payments. Not much later, the same happened in four locations in Khartoum, in El Debba in Northern State, in Heglig in the southern part of the country, and in South Darfur.

Army forces contained the situation. They detained more than 40 mutineers, and seized 80 armoured vehicles from the former security apparatus’ Operations Authority. A large number of mutineers however, especially from Kafouri in Khartoum North and Soba, escaped.  

Two members of one family in the Soba district in south-east Khartoum were killed by a shell, El Burhan said.

This was confirmed by the Sudan Doctors Central Committee in a statement on Wednesday. They stated that 25-year-old Mohamed El Amin and his 19-year-old sister Rania were seriously injured when a shell landed on their house. They both died on the way to Royal Care Hospital in central Khartoum.


El Burhan further explained that the Operations Authority combatants are linked to Salah Abdallah, better known as Salah Gosh, former director of the feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), as he is responsible for the establishment of the security fighters’ department.

The forces were being prepared to become a substitute for the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), the head of the Sovereign council explained. They were superior to the army in armament.

After the fall of Al Bashir in April last year, heavy weapons, anti-aircraft machinery, and large numbers of armoured vehicles, were taken from them. In late July, the then ruling Transitional Military Council decided to reform the NISS, adjust its competences, and change its name to the General Intelligence Service (GIS).

We consider the revolt of the security forces part of an integrated plan by forces of the former regime to undermine the revolution – Madani Abbas, Sudan's Minister of Trade

Regarding the competences of the security apparatus, El Burhan stated in the interview that the government will speed up the process of converting it into a service that will only collect and analyse information.

On Tuesday, Deputy Chairman of the Sovereign Council and Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ also accused Salah Gosh of being behind the mutiny. According to Hemeti, the Operations Authority still possess heavy weapons. Collecting all weapons from them was delayed for six months, he said.

The Council of Ministers considers the revolt of the security forces "part of an integrated plan by forces of the former regime to undermine the revolution,” Minister of Trade Madani Abbas said in a press statement on Wednesday.

After having been briefed by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence on the violent incidents on Tuesday, the Ministers said they consider the mutiny “an extension of organised activity carried out by the forces of the defunct regime by exploiting the freedom of expression and organisation, and stirring tribal strife in an attempt to return the former regime.

“The Council of Ministers will not allow the exploitation of freedom of expression and organisation in order to undermine the Constitutional Charter, and distort the democratic system,” Abbas stated. He called for “a radical restructuring of the security apparatus.

‘In control’

In the early hours of yesterday morning, El Burhan held a press conference together with Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, Chief of Staff Lt Gen Mohamed El Hussein, and Minister of Energy and Mining Adil Ibrahim.

They said the regular forces are in control of all bases of the Operations Authority.  Life returned to normal in Khartoum, and the airport was opened again.

The Chief of Staff announced the death of two army officers and the injury of four other army troops during actions to regain control of the situation in Khartoum.

Hamdok commended the regular forces for “the great and appreciated work they did to control the events in Khartoum”, events that aimed “to stop the train of progress towards democracy, stability, and peace”.

The Minister of Energy and Mining stated that army forces succeeded to take over the Hodeida and Sufyan oil fields in West Kordofan from members of the Operations Authority. The mutineers who have been detained will be transported to Khartoum.


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