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Sudan’s Bashir holds surprise meeting with Gosh, visits Turabi

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August 1, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir met with two of his foes this week in separate occasions amid growing speculations about a new political initiative he is planning to launch.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (C), Secretary General of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan al-Turabi (L), former director of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Salah Gosh (R).

Sources told Sudan Tribune that Bashir invited the former director of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Salah Gosh to an Iftar dinner at his residence on Wednesday where they discussed sensitive issues related to the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the country.

The sources did not say whether the dinner was limited to Gosh and Bashir or it included other figures.

Gosh was freed last month after being detained last year in connection with a mysterious coup attempt along with other army and security officers.

The Sudanese president has excluded Gosh from several pardons he granted to other alleged conspirators who were convicted and received jail sentences. At the time sources said that the government was worried Gosh would use information he was privy to during his term as spy chief in order to undermine the government and the NCP.

Prosecutors struggled with compiling evidence against Gosh and his detention was extended several times by a judge to allow them to come up with charges against him. He was eventually accused of undermining the constitutional order, inciting violence to topple the legitimate government and breaching the anti-terrorism law. The counts carry the death penalty.

Before facing trial, the Sudanese attorney general abruptly dropped charges against Gosh and signaled that this was done in consultation with the presidency.

Gosh is better known for engineering deep cooperation with the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on counter-terrorism following September 2001 attacks in Washington and New York.

He was abruptly sacked as NISS director and demoted to presidential adviser for security affairs that was largely a ceremonial role.

In 2011, Bashir fired him again in the wake of disagreements he had with powerful presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie over dialogue with opposition parties. He was later stripped of his positions within the NCP and only maintained his seat in the Sudanese parliament as representative of a constituency in north Sudan.

Following his release, Gosh blasted unspecified NCP officials around Bashir saying they exploited their proximity to the president in order to badmouth him and fabricate stories. It was widely believed that the former NISS chief is in extremely bad terms with Nafie who asserted several times that Gosh will be prosecuted for his role in the coup attempt.

Gosh warned that he is willing to leave the NCP that should he be booted from the party then "all options will be open" for him.

The Sudanese president also visited the leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan al-Turabi to pay condolences for him on the death of his brother. The 1st VP Ali Osman Taha did the same separately and left prior to Bashir’s arrival.

A PCP official reached by Sudan Tribune said that that Turabi and Bashir conversation was likely confined to the social aspect.

Turabi was once the godfather of the Sudanese Islamist regime but following a political fallout with Bashir and his deputy Taha in 1999, he formed his own party and become a fierce opponent of the regime.

The Islamist figure was placed under house arrest few times and was also detained over the years but was never charged.

The Sudanese government has long accused Al-Turabi of having strong ties with the Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

Turabi and Bashir have met in social events before but only exchanged niceties and handshakes.

It remains to be seen whether the encounters with Gosh and Turabi will yield any political ramifications.

VP Taha said last month that Bashir is working on a initiative to radically solve Sudan’s problems but offered no details.

The Sudanese leader has reportedly sat down several times recently with his former adviser Ghazi Salah al-Deen al-Attabani who is considered to be a strong proponent of reform within the NCP and the state.

This year, Al-Attabani was expelled from his role as head of NCP majority in parliament which observers believed it was in response to remarks by him stating that Bashir is constitutionally barred from running for a new term again in 2015.

Last March, Bashir reiterated his past intentions to step down at the end of his term in 2015 saying that Sudan is in need of “fresh blood” and that he spent enough time in power.

But in June he appeared to walk back his pledge by saying that NCP will have the final say on the matter.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

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  • 2 August 2013 11:42, by Native Boy

    SRF
    Hahaa, Continue setting the candle ablaze, the God of our forefathers of africa is at reach.

    repondre message

    • 2 August 2013 12:09, by Kur Madingdit

      Whether Bashir visits Turabi or whoever, he still retain the bad smell or rotten blood of our people and that of his own people. The fake martyrs who died in South Sudan are calling him. Salah was his knife during his slaughter houses in South Sudan. There is a saying; You sharpen your own knife to cut you deep one day. Salah Goch must go ahead even if Bashir leak his hairy ass.

      repondre message

  • 2 August 2013 20:04, by Adol Martha

    Meet for the benefit of Sudanese and not for their downfall

    repondre message

  • 2 August 2013 20:22, by Adol Martha

    No wonder, you want to form another NIF to finish the remaining Africans in the North. Just continue but when African spring comes to full swing you will curse the day you were born.

    repondre message

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