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Sudanese opposition critise re-appointment of NISS director

February 27 - 2018 KHARTOUM
The current director, and director from 2004-2009, of the NISS, Salah Abdallah Gosh (file photo)
The current director, and director from 2004-2009, of the NISS, Salah Abdallah Gosh (file photo)

Members of the Sudanese opposition have criticised the decision by President Omar Al Bashir to re-appoint a former director of the Sudanese intelligence service, claiming the move does not change anything to an old structure.

Salah Abdallah (known as Gosh) replaced Mohamed Atta El Maula, who had served in the position since 2009. Gosh was director of the NISS between 2004 and 2009 and was security advisor to the president, before he was dismissed in 2011. Rumours of an imminent military coup led to his arrest in 2012.

But in July 2013, charges against Gosh were dropped and he was released after Al Bashir granted him amnesty. The security chief is considered to be one of the masterminds of the war in Darfur. During his reign, the NISS became more notorious than before.

Political analysts and sociologists speaking to Radio Dabanga already pointed out that the “policy of recycling people” indicates that the political and economic crises in Sudan caused internal conflicts within the government. This way, old elements unite again to face the current economic collapse in the country, according to Dr Haidar Ibrahim, sociologist and founder and director of the Sudanese Studies’ Centre.

“The regime is using the same expired medicine.” - Sarah Nugdallah

Adding to their criticism is Sarah Nugdallah, the secretary-general of the National Umma Party (NUP). “The Sudanese regime is repeating itself and using the same expired medicine,” she told Radio Dabanga after a press conference Sudanese opposition forces held at the Umma party’s headquarters in Khartoum on Monday.

“These changes or amendments in administrative and ministerial positions do not affect the essence of the disease, and have nothing to do with the welfare of people and the interests of the homeland.” On behalf of the NUP, Nugdallah announced a programme of seminars, sit-ins, demonstrations and other peaceful activities in light of the government’s policies.

She called on people to not wait, but take the initiative of a resistance to end the regime and achieve aspirations for freedom, democracy and decent living. Sudan’s opposition parties began calling for mass rallies in the country in early January, in protest against new austerity measures that caused the prices of basic consumer goods to double, and in a number of commodities, to triple. Nugdallah was the NUP leader who called-out a vigil in Omdurman’s El Ahliya schoolyard in January and was detained by the security service.

Rebel groups

Yasir Arman, the deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North led by Malik Agar, told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the appointment of Saleh Abdallah Gosh as the NISS director is a way of “keeping the old programme with new faces that will neither change policies, nor resolve the economic problems”.

Also Abdelwahid El Nur, the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) said that Gosh “has participated in the war and genocide in Darfur. His existence in the Sudanese government, therefore, will not change the nature of the regime.”

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