The recently re-appointed Director General of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Gen Salah Abdallah (Gosh), called for the cooperation of the regular forces to crush “those who gamble with the people’s food and security”.
On Thursday, Gosh officially took over the head of NISS seven years after being accused of fomenting a coup d’état in November 2011. He attended the handover ceremony with his predecessor Gen Mohamed Atta who once was his deputy.
On Sunday 11 February, President Omer al-Bashir issued a decree reinstating Gosh at the head the security apparatus. The surprising decision was seen by many as a bid de counter his possible rivals within the ruling party for the upcoming presidential election 2020.
“The issues of the country need new ideas and creations,” and to open new perspectives Gosh said at the handover ceremony.
“We need to start thinking outside the box and set up stable State institutions capable of creativity, follow-up and achievement,” he added.
He pointed out that Atta’s period witnessed additions and leaps in the security agency, including infrastructure, means of work and discipline, in addition to technical capabilities and human cadres.
“Atta will be at the helm of the ship and will not be far away, and I will be close to him so that we can work together to develop this institution and fill the (security) gaps,” he stressed.
Gosh had been arrested in November 2011 with 12 other army and security officers over charges of plotting to overthrow President al-Bashir. He was released eight months later by a presidential pardon.
He maintained his innocence, while the prosecution failed to provide evidence against him.
For his part, the former director said that the NISS is a well-established and long-standing institution, adding that the transfer of leadership will enhance.
He further said that the supervision of President Omer al-Bashir and his leadership of inter-institutional coordination have refined the practice, created complementarity and exchange of roles in order to safeguard national security and protect the Sudanese soil.
Gosh headed Sudan’s national intelligence service for five years until 2009, before being appointed presidential security adviser and then dismissed in April 2011. His dismissal intervened after a public bickering with the then powerful presidential assistant and NCP’s vice-chairman Nafi Ali Nafi.
At the time, Nafi criticised a political dialogue Gosh had engaged with the National Umma Party and the Democratic Union Party. He said it was for the ruling party not the security presidential adviser to launch this process.
Gosh retorted that he was engaged in the dialogue under the subversion of President Omer al-Bashir and the Vice-President Ali Osman.
When he was at the head of the NISS from 2004 to 2009, Gosh had been engaged in the counterinsurgency campaign in Darfur.
Also, he enhanced cooperation with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which late backed Washington decision to cancel economic sanctions on Sudan.
In the upcoming weeks, the two countries have to engage in a difficult process to remove Sudan from the list of terror states which requires political concessions and financial compensations to U.S. victims.