Sudan Reappoints Spy Chief Who Was Once Accused of Plotting Coup

(Bloomberg) -- Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir reappointed the former intelligence chief who was accused of plotting a coup five years ago, as the North African country faces sporadic protests over rising living costs.

Salah Gosh, who led the National Security and Intelligence Services until 2009, will replace Mohammed Atta al-Moula, according to a presidential decree cited Sunday by the state-run Sudan News Agency. It didn’t give any reason for the decision.

Sudan Reappoints Spy Chief Who Was Once Accused of Plotting Coup

Gosh later served as presidential security adviser until al-Bashir fired him in 2011. In late 2012, he and other senior security and military officials were arrested and accused of plotting to overthrow the government. He was released and the charges dropped after about eight months in custody and some other officers who’d been sentenced to prison were given presidential pardons.

Sudan has devalued its currency twice this year and cut some subsidies, part of budget measures enacted to comply with International Monetary Fund recommendations to revive an economy still reeling from the loss of most of its oil when South Sudan seceded in 2011. There have been sporadic demonstrations in the capital, Khartoum, in which dozens of people have been arrested. The U.S. last year lifted some sanctions placed on the country in 1997 because of its alleged sponsorship of terrorism.

Gosh “has strong contacts domestically and externally and can do well to break the isolation on Sudan and push forward to stabilize the country,” Hasab Allah Omar, a former assistant to Gosh, said by phone.

The opposition Sudanese Congress Party said on its Facebook page that Gosh’s reappointment was a sign the government was still adopting “security solutions” to the country’s political and economic problems.

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