February 27, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese security official defended the attributions and powers of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) saying they are needed to fight huge security threats the country is facing.
- NISS’s director-general Mohammed Atta
He, however, said they will abide by any reform aiming to restrict the arbitrary arrest and detention of political opponents and activists.
As part of institutional reforms to restore a democratic rule in Sudan, the national dialogue conference agreed to reduce the large power of the security apparatus mainly directed against the media and opposition forces.
Nowadays the parliament is discussing a reform to limit is power to providing analysis of information relevant to the external and internal security of the country and the protection of vital national interests.
Following a hearing of security specialists held on Monday by the constitutional amendments committee chaired by NCP leading member and MP Bardia Suleiman, the director of Higher Academy for Strategic and Security Studies called to strengthen the powers to face regional challenges.
"We should not diminish the powers of the NISS, but there should be laws and legislations to strengthen it particularly Sudan is facing big challenges and significant threats and surrounded by a troubled region. All these require a law guaranteeing strength and teeth to the NISS and enabling it to face these challenges," he said.
He further said the limitation of its role in the gathering of information will represent a "dissonance" vis-à-vis the other international and regional security agencies and will weaken its capacity to face and resist surrounding challenges.
The security official justified the confiscation of newspapers saying this punitive measure is implemented when a daily touches issues related to foreign relations, security of the society and its values.
On the administrative detention of opponents and activists, he said that the security service has no objection to reducing the detention period. Further, he stressed that political freedoms are guaranteed to all the parties and groups adding that the intervene only when demonstration turn violent with rioters who want to burn and damage.
NISS Deputy Director Ussama Mukhtar focused on his speech before the lawmakers on the terrorist groups and the efforts of the apparatus to protect the country.
he said Sudan is a "safe area" thanks to the efforts of the security services in the counterterrorism and the fight against arms smuggling and human trafficking.