Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 20:24 pm (KSA) 17:24 pm (GMT)

Sudanese president names new intelligence chief

Bashir is accused by the ICC of war crimes in the turbulent region of Darfur
Bashir is accused by the ICC of war crimes in the turbulent region of Darfur

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued a decree early Friday replacing influential intelligence chief Salah Gosh with his deputy Mohamed Atta Al-Moula Abbas.

"President of the Republic ... Omar al-Bashir has issued a Republican Decree appointing Salah Abdallah as a Presidential Advisor," the official Suna news agency said.

 The president has issued another Decree appointing General Mohamed Atta al-Moula as director general of the National Security and Intelligence Organ 
Sudan News Agency

"The president has issued another Decree appointing General Mohamed Atta al-Moula as director general of the National Security and Intelligence Organ," the agency said in a terse statement without giving the reasons for the change.

Salah Abdallah, known as Salah Gosh, headed the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) since the end of the 1990s. A quiet man who gives few media interviews, he remains one of the most influential figures in Sudan.

At the start of the 90s Sudan had given shelter to Osama Bin Laden but sought after the September 11, 2001 attacks to dissociate itself from the Al-Qaeda leader, hoping to be removed from the American list of countries sheltering terrorist organizations.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Gosh boosted cooperation between Sudan's intelligence service and its American counterpart, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Gosh warned the people of Sudan last winter against any statements in favor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as it was preparing to release an arrest warrant against Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the war-torn region of Darfur.

After the warrant was issued several analysts said they expected a change at the head of the intelligence agency with Gosh even seen as a possible successor to the embattled president.

Gosh's successor Moula was until now the number two in the intelligence agency.

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