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Sudanese president reshuffles army command; promotes officer sanctioned by US

April 2, 2008 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese presidency reshuffled today the army command of joint staff as well as ground forces, navy and air forces including a general accused by Washington of directing attacks against civilians in Darfur.

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Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir speaks during a ceremony for the 18th anniversary of the Popular Defence Forces in Madani, Nov 17, 2007 (AFP)

President of the Republic and General Commander of the Sudan Armed Forces, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, has issued decrees promoting a number of officers of the Armed Forces and to amend the Command of the Joint Staff and the Ground Forces, Navy and Air Forces as part of regular administrative arrangements.

According to the decrees, Gen. Mohamed Abdel-Gadir Nasr-Eddin, was promoted to the position of the Chief of the Joint Staff, Gen. Awad Mohamed bin Oaf, as Deputy Chief of Joint Staff.

Oaf, who was former Head of Military Intelligence and Security, was placed on a US sanctions list in May 2007 by president Goerge Bush for "contribuing to the conflict in the Darfur region".

The US adminstration said that Oaf is "among Khartoum’s senior leadership and have acted as liaison between the Sudanese government and the Government-supported Janjaweed militias, which have attacked and brutalized innocent civilians in the region".

He was also accused of have providing the Janjaweed "with logistical support and directed attacks".

The reshuffle list also included

Gen. Ismat Abdel-Rahman Zainal-Abidin as General Inspector.

Lt. Gen. Ali Al-Sharif was promoted to the position of chief of the Joint Operations and Training Administration,

Lt. Gen. Abdel-Rahman Mohamed Zain was promoted as the Chief of the Ground Forces Staff,

Lt. Gen. (Pilot) Ahmed Ali Al-Faki was promoted to be the Chief of the Air-Forces Staff,

Lt. Gen. Mahjoub Abdalla Sharfi as Chief of the Security and Intelligence Administration,

While Lt. Gen. (Naval) Al-Zain Hamad Balla retained the position of the Chief of the Naval Forces Staff.

A number of Major Generals in the ground forces were also promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General to assume leading positions, who were Lt. Gen. Hashim Abdalla Hassan, Lt. Gen. (engineer) Mustafa Osman Obeid, and Lt. Gen. Mohamed Gerham Omer.