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General Intelligence Service (Sudan)

General Intelligence Service
Agency overview
JurisdictionGovernment of Sudan
HeadquartersKhartoum, Sudan
Agency executive
  • Ahmed Mufaddal, director[1]

The General Intelligence Service[2][3][4] or Directorate of General Intelligence Service[5] is the intelligence service of the federal government of Sudan, created in July 2019 from the former National Intelligence and Security Service (Arabic: جهاز الأمن والمخابرات الوطني السوداني, Jihaaz Al Amn Wal Mukhaabaraat Al Watani, NISS) by the Transitional Military Council during the Sudanese Revolution[2] in response to demands from protestors to close down NISS because of its role in repression.[6][4]


Seal of the former NISS.

During the Omar al-Bashir presidency, the National Intelligence and Security Service was an incredibly powerful body. It was granted extensive powers by the National Security Acts of 1999 and 2010 such as the ability of to reposes livestock and was frequently referred to as a secret police organization.[7][8][9]

It is widely accepted that in addition to its domestic operations, the NISS ran operations and agents throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Western Europe. The secretive organisation's most well known operation was its massive intelligence network in Iraq, which it was able to build by recruiting foreign fighters passing through Khartoum on their way to Iraq.

From 2004 to 2009, NISS was led by Salah Gosh. Gosh was removed as leader by President Al-Bashir and replaced with Mohammed Atta al-Moula, the deputy director of the service at the time, who led it until Gosh's reappointment in 2018.[10]

The NISS operated the Rapid Support Forces.[11]

On 13 April 2019 during the 2019 Sudanese coup d'état, Gosh, who was reappointed NISS Director in 2018 and was a controversial figure,[12] was sacked as head of the agency after Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, the head of the newly created Transitional Military Council (TMC) accepted his resignation.[13][14] On 14 April 2019, Lieutenant General Abu Bakr Mustafa was named as Gosh's successor.[15]

Creation of GIS

NISS was heavily involved in the repression of protestors during the Sudanese Revolution of 2018–2019, in response to which protestors called for NISS to be dissolved.[6][4][3] While the TMC still held power as the de facto executive power in Sudan, in July, it issued Constitutional Decree No. (33) of 2019, in which NISS was renamed as the General Intelligence Service. Official reasons cited for the name change included "[coping] with the political change in the country" and "[becoming] more professional in protecting the country and safeguarding its national security against very complicated threats".[2]

January 2020 mutiny

According to The Washington Post, most of the former NISS agents chose neither to remain in GIS nor to accept the option to join alternative Sudanese armed services, and instead to accept a monetary package. The initially proposed value of the severance pay was around US$2,500 and was later reduced to around US$250.[4] On 14 January 2020, several of the former NISS agents, angry at the reduced value of the severance, mutinied.[6][4][3] Government security forces regained control of the rebelling former NISS employees within several hours. Hemetti of the Sovereignty Council attributed responsibility for the mutiny to former NISS head Salah Gosh, and stated that the mutiny should not be considered to be a coup attempt. The Washington Post interpreted the incident as "probably a haphazard show of anger by frustrated corps members who are now out of a job, rather than an attempt to overthrow the regime."[4] The head of GIS, Abu Bakr Mustafa, resigned as a result of the event.[3]


  1. ^ "Sudan Appoints New Director of General Intelligence - Sources".
  2. ^ a b c "TMC Renames NISS to General Intelligence Service". Sudanese Media Center. 30 July 2019. Archived from the original on 30 July 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Sudan army quells Khartoum mutiny by pro-Bashir troops". BBC News. 15 January 2020. Archived from the original on 16 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Gallopin, Jean-Baptiste (19 January 2020). "Sudan's military shut down a mutiny. What does that mean for the democratic transition?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 29 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Sudan government forces quell armed protest by security agents".
  6. ^ a b c "Sudan government forces quell armed protest by security agents". Al Jazeera English. 15 January 2020. Archived from the original on 14 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Document". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  8. ^ Caryl, Christian (3 October 2012). "An Idealist on Death Row". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 21 February 2015. ...the Sudanese secret police — the notorious National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS)...
  9. ^ Howden, Daniel (28 June 2012). "Has the Arab Spring now spread to Sudan?". The Independent. Retrieved 21 February 2015. ...and the hated secret police, the NISS.
  10. ^ Wheeler, Skye (14 August 2009). "Sudan president replaces intelligence chief". Reuters. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Sudan's RSF pledges to liberate rebel stronghold in South Kordofan". Sudan Tribune. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2016. The militia was activated and restructured again in August last year under the command of NISS
  12. ^ "Sudan's intelligence chief Salah Gosh resigns: Military council". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  13. ^ [1] [dead link]
  14. ^ "Sudan's military holds talks with protesters as curfew lifted". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Sudan's military council names new intelligence chief". France 24. 14 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
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General Intelligence Service (Sudan)
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