Sudan: Protests Against Former NISS Officials' Appointment At Sudan Embassies

Former Sudanese President al-Bashir (file photo).
18 September 2020

El Gedaref / N'djamena / Riyadh — Dozens of activists organised a protest in El Gedaref yesterday, calling for an investigation into the killing of protestors during the revolution, and cancellation of the appointment of two former members of the former National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to the Sudanese embassies in N'Djamena in Chad and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

The protest was organised in front of murals of the killed demonstrators at the town's market, demanding those involved are brought to justice.

The participants of the protest vigil carried banners calling for the cancellation of the decision to appoint Mohmed Ambiga, former NISS director in El Gedaref, as head of the Sudanese consulate in N'Djamena, for his involvement in the detention, torture, and suppression of activists, and the killing of demonstrators, under his management in El Gedaref.

Protestors also call for the cancellation of the appointment of Abdelrahman El Haj, another former security director in El Gedaref, at the Sudanese embassy in Riyadh. He is also accused by protestors of enforcement of policies which led to the killing, disappearance, and torture of activists during the revolution which took place in Sudan last year.

Banner reads: "Nine martyrs on December 20 and the killer Abdelrahman El Haj is rewarded with Saudi Embassy.

You have the blood of the martyr on your hands. Blood for blood." (Social media)

Activist Ashraf Motasim said that their appointment at the embassies "indicates that things are not going well in our country," calling on protestors "to continue the journey until there is retribution for the martyrs".

The Empowerment* Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee was formed in November 2019 after the transitional government approved a law to dismantle the institutions set-up by the regime of Omar Al Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP). Since then, the committee has been instrumental in breaking the party's grip on the political scene and state resources.

At the end of August 2020, director of Sudan's General Intelligence Service, Lt Gen Jamal Abdelmajeed, defended the existence of companies affiliated with the security apparatus. Sudanese activists are demanding the transfer of companies belonging to members of the GIS as well as all companies of Sudanese military institutions and generals to the Ministry of Finance.

Security reform

In late July last year, Sudan's infamous National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) was reformed, its competences adjusted, and its name was changed to General Intelligence Service (GIS).

The Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported on July 29 that TMC chairman Abdelfattah El Burhan issued a constitutional decree to amend several articles of the National National Security Act of 2010, in order to restructure the NISS. The new intelligence service is reportedly no longer authorised to detain people or carry out search operations.

"The amendment stipulated in the constitutional decree comes within the framework of restructuring the security apparatus, to cope with the political change in the country," the then director of the GIS, Gen Abubakir Dambalab, said.

In September last year, The Public Prosecutor in Omdurman issued an arrest warrant for former National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) chief Salah Abdallah, aka Salah Gosh, on charges of first degree murder.

*Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions and the setting-up of various companies.

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