Khartoum, Sudan | AFP | The head of Sudan’s feared National Intelligence and Security Service, Salih Ghosh, has resigned from his post, the country’s new military rulers said on Saturday.
“The chief of the transitional military council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has accepted the resignation of… the chief of NISS,” the transitional military council said.
Soon after, Sudan’s new military ruler vowed to “uproot” the regime of ousted president Omar al-Bashir and its symbols, in a televised address to the nation.
“I announce the restructuring of state institutions according to the law and pledge to fight corruption and uproot the regime and its symbols,” General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said, a day after he was sworn in to head Sudan’s new ruling military council.
Burhan said those involved in the killing of protesters would face justice and announced the immediate lifting of a night-time curfew.
He also ordered the release of protesters jailed by special emergency courts.
Who is Ghosh?
Ghosh had overseen a sweeping crackdown led by NISS agents against protesters taking part in four months of mass demonstations that led up to the toppling of veteran president Omar al-Bashir by the army on Thursday.
Thousands of protesters, opposition activists and journalists were arrested in the crackdown that left dozens killed and hundreds wounded.
Before Bashir’s ouster, NISS agents made several bids to disperse tens of thousands of protesters who have camped outside the army headquarters in the capital since April 6 demanding Bashir’s ouster.
Their efforts proved abortive as troops intervened but police said on Friday that 16 protesters had been killed at the sit-in over the previous two days.
Bashir had appointed Salih as NISS chief in February 2018, which was the regime insider’s second stint at the post.
His previous stint ended in August 2009.
Salih, had worked on and off for NISS ever since the 1989 coup that brought Bashir to power, according to Sudanese media.
He was credited with building NISS into one of the most important pillars of Bashir’s regime before his dismissal in 2009.
He was later jailed on accusations of plotting a coup but no evidence was found against him and Bashir pardoned him.
Over the years NISS has overseen repeated crackdowns on government opponents and the media.
Its agents frequently confiscated the entire print-runs of newspapers that criticised government policy or reported on anti-government protests.
Meanwhile, the party of ousted Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir urged the country’s new ruling military council Saturday to release its acting president and other key members, condemning Bashir’s overthrow as unconstitutional.
“We consider the military council’s power grab a violation of constitutional law,” the National Congress Party said in a statement.
“The NCP rejects the detention of its leaders, among them its acting president and a large number of prominent members, and calls for their immediate release.”