Sudan's Burhan dismisses senior intelligence officers, sources say

The news follows the appointment of a new head of the general intelligence service

  
Sudanese military stand guard as military-aligned demonstrators gathered in numbers, chant "Down with the government of hunger" in front of the Presidential palace in Khartoum, Sudan, October 16, 2021.

Sudanese military stand guard as military-aligned demonstrators gathered in numbers, chant "Down with the government of hunger" in front of the Presidential palace in Khartoum, Sudan, October 16, 2021.

REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig

KHARTOUM- Sudan's military leader has overhauled top intelligence positions, dismissing at least eight general intelligence officers and replacing the head of military intelligence, two official sources told Reuters on Sunday.

The decision by Sovereign Council head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan comes a week after he struck a deal to reinstate Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who had been placed under house arrest in an Oct. 25 coup. 

Of the officers dismissed, five were in senior positions and had been in place since before the 2019 overthrow of long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir, the sources said. On Saturday, official sources said Burhan had replaced the head of the general intelligence service.

It was not immediately clear what impact the decisions could have on the balance of power  following Hamdok's return. Hamdok replaced the country's top two police officials on Saturday, following deadly violence against anti-military protesters in recent weeks.

Before the coup, the military had been sharing power with civilian groups that took part in an uprising against Bashir. Many within those groups have opposed the deal between Burhan and Hamdok, saying they want the army to exit politics.

One condition of the deal was that political prisoners arrested since the coup should be freed. Some have been released but others remain in detention.

The United States, Britain and Norway, which lead Western foreign policy on Sudan, called for the release of all those imprisoned for their political beliefs across Sudan.

"These are necessary steps to rebuild trust and return Sudan to the path of freedom and democracy," they said in a statement.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz Writing by Enas Alashray and Aidan Lewis Editing by David Goodman and Louise Heavens)


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