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Sudanese security enjoys “good relations” with the CIA: NISS chief

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December 23, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The director of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Mohamed Atta said his agency maintains “good ties” with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

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NISS director-general Mohamed Atta (SMC)

Atta said in an interview with the Al-Sudani newspaper Wednesday that relations between the NISS and the CIA date back to the late 1990s of the past century.

“I can say there is good relation [with the CIA] and we are currently engaged [with them] in a dialogue on the need to lift Sudan’s name from the list of states sponsoring terrorism,” he said.

Atta added that the media had circulated a lot of facts and rumors on the nature of their relations with the CIA during the previous years.

The intelligence cooperation between the US and Sudan was publicly exposed in 2005 when the Los Angeles Times disclosed that the CIA sent a jet in April 2005 to Khartoum to ferry former NISS chief Salah Gosh into Washington for meetings.

The same newspaper revealed in 2007 that Sudan has secretly worked with the CIA to spy on the insurgency in Iraq despite the strained relations with Washington over the Darfur crisis.

In the same year, Gosh was quoted as saying in an interview that cooperation with the CIA “helped avert devastating measures [by the US administration] against Sudan”.

However, a US official familiar with intelligence cooperation with Sudan suggested that reports on the matter have been exaggerated.

“It is true that there was a period of time, as in 2002, 2003 and 2004, when intelligence cooperation with NISS went up but that has to be put in context ... It is relative as it [counterterrorism ties] went from nothing to something,” the official told Sudan Tribune in January 2013.

He said that the US intelligence cooperation with Sudan is nowhere near the one that exists with Jordan, for example.

Ironically Sudan has been on the US blacklist of states sponsoring terrorism since 1993 over allegations it harboured Islamist militants.

Sudan has also been subject to comprehensive economic sanctions since 1997 over terrorism charges as well as human right abuses. Further sanctions, particularly on weapons, were imposed in 2003 following the outbreak of violence in the western Darfur region.

(ST)

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