Sudan’s military council names new intelligence and security chief

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Sudan’s transitional military council has appointed Lieutenant General Abu Bakr Mustafa as the country’s new National Intelligence and Security Service chief, the council’s spokesperson said during a press conference on Sunday.

“The chief of the military council appointed Lieutenant General Abu Baker Mustafa as the chief of the National Intelligence and Security Service,” Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi told reporters.

This comes a day after the resignation of the former National Intelligence and Security Service chief Salah Gosh.

The council’s spokesperson Kabbashi said that all police officers who took part in the mass demonstrations will be released.

He added that the council will proceed with the arrest of former regime figures. He also said that Defense Minister Awad Ibn Auf was also relieved of his post.

He did not name a successor to Ibn Auf.

Kabbashi said that a bill will be announced defining the relationship between the army and the political forces in order to establish a new civilian government.

“The ball is now in the political forces’ court when it comes to the prime minister or a government,” Kabbashi said.

“If they are ready today to approve anything, we are ready to implement it,” he added.

The spokesperson further clarified that the National Congress Party will not be represented in the coming government, and that both Sudanese ambassadors in Washington and Geneva will be relieved from their positions.

For his part, Lieutenant General Omar Zain al-Abideen, another member of the council, said the opposition groups would have one week to submit their suggestions.

The head of the military council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had earlier said the council had invited the main opposition parties and protest organisers for a meeting.

But the the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) and other main opposition parties, which together make up a group known as the Forces for Freedom and Change, said they did not attend the meeting.

“We were not invited to this meeting ... we will submit our suggestions for the government to the military council,” a spokesman for SPA told Reuters.

A Reuters witness said the meeting was largely attended by unknown politicians and parliamentarians who are known to be loyal to Bashir’s party.

(With Reuters)