January 16, 2020 / 5:53 PM / 6 days ago

Sudan appoints new intelligence chief in wake of failed revolt

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s transitional authorities on Thursday appointed a new intelligence chief days after putting down an armed revolt by former agents linked to toppled ruler Omar al-Bashir, the sovereign council said.

FILE PHOTO: Members of the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are seen near the area where gunmen opened fire outside buildings used by Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum, Sudan January 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

The army said two soldiers were killed and four wounded in fighting late on Tuesday in Khartoum with former members of the country’s once-feared security service before government forces quelled the uprising.

It was the biggest confrontation so far between the old guard and supporters of the transitional authorities, which helped topple Bashir in April after 30 years in power.

The Transitional Sovereign Council, which runs the country, accepted the resignation of General Abu Bakr Dumblab, the head of the General Intelligence Service, formerly known as National Intelligence and Security Service, a council statement said.

The council appointed General Jamal Abdul Majeed as a new head of the service. He had headed military intelligence.

Dumblab resigned “to open the door for a new leadership to take over the agency at this sensitive and delicate stage,” the intelligence service said in statement. Dumblab had become head of the service after the removal of Bashir.

Former agents of the intelligence service, who had been protesting against their severance packages, also shut two small oilfields on Tuesday.

The military took control of the two fields, which have an output of around 5,000 barrels a day, and production resumed on Wednesday.

The revolt also forced the authorities to close Sudan’s airspace but it was reopened on Tuesday.

In a speech early on Wednesday, the sovereign council head, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, vowed to stand firm against any coup attempt and added that the army was in control of all buildings used by the intelligence service.

Restructuring the security apparatus, blamed by many Sudanese for suppressing dissent under Bashir, was a key demand of the uprising that had forced his removal. However, once dismissed by the new transitional government, many of the security agents returned to barracks without handing in their weapons.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by William Maclean

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