The Sudanese intelligence chief resigned Wednesday after the deaths of five people, including two soldiers, during the assault by government forces on two security service bases near Khartoum where a mutiny broke out the day before.
Shots were fired Tuesday at two bases in the Khartoum region hosting the former Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), which played a leading role in the suppression of the protest movement launched in December 2018 and having led, in April, to the dismissal by the army of Omar el-Béchir.
The army said two of its soldiers had been killed and doctors close to the dispute reported the deaths of three civilians.
On Wednesday, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, head of the Sovereign Council – a body made up of civilians and soldiers responsible since this summer for ensuring the post-Bashir transition – announced the resignation of the chief of intelligence services, General Abou Bakr Moustapha.
“We asked him to give us a handwritten resignation letter, which he did. We are now examining it, « Burhane said on state television.
Government spokesman Faisal Mohamed Saleh had reported the start of a « rebellion » launched by ex-NISS members who rejected the money they had received for their retirement.
On Tuesday evening, troops of the Rapid Support Forces (paramilitary, RSF) and the army stormed the bases amid heavy fire.
« We decided to storm the bases to end this rebellion (…). We have regained control ”of the sites, the Sudanese chief of staff, Osmane Mohamed al-Hassan, told reporters on Wednesday.
« Two soldiers lost their lives and four others, including two officers, were injured, » he added.
Three civilians, belonging to the same family, were shot dead near one of the bases during the attack, according to doctors close to the protest movement who did not give more details on the circumstances of their death.
“No coup d’etat”
In his speech on state television, Burhane said the mutiny was launched by the military wing of the NISS which was created by ex-intelligence chief Salah Gosh, a figure in the Bashir regime.
The new authorities consider that a military branch of intelligence is not necessary, added Burhane, since the aim of the service is to « collect information and analyze it ».
“Forty people involved in the incident surrendered. We have also established a committee to investigate this, ”he said.
RSF chief Mohamed Hamdan Daglo also accused Mr. Gosh of being behind this act of « rebellion ».
Mr. Gosh had resigned two days after Mr. Bashir was removed from office and his whereabouts are unknown.
After the mutiny was put down, Burhane said on Wednesday morning that the authorities « will not tolerate any coup d’etat against the Sudanese revolution ».
« We will protect this transition period, and anyone who tries to undermine the security and stability of citizens will be defeated, » he said.
In Darfur, a region torn apart by violence in 2003 and located in the west of the country, « rebel members » of the ex-NISS briefly took control of the Soufiane and Hadid oil fields, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. Oil Adel Ibrahim, quoted by the national television.
The fields are once again under the control of government forces and production has resumed, he added.
Khartoum airport, not far from one of the targeted ex-NISS bases, reopened on Wednesday morning after being closed due to the violence of the evening.
After the establishment of the Sovereign Council and then of a transitional government responsible for handling current affairs, the new authorities notably promised to reform the security services.