The once powerful Sudan intelligence chief, Gen Gosh Salah has quit, a considerable achievement of opposition forces pushing for a civilian-led transitional council.
Circumstances under which Salah, commonly known as Gosh, left, remain unclear.
But the resignation follows intense protests in the country that toppled President Omar Al-Bashir this past Thursday.
Gen Salah is remembered for commanding from behind-the-scenes security operations against protesters in which dozens died.
Seen as Bashir’s loyalist, Salah’s intelligence career had ended in 2009 only to be returned with full powers in February 2019 at the peak of anti-government protests.
The Head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council General Abdul Fatah Rahman said in a statement on Saturday that he had “accepted the resignation of the Director National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Gen Salah Abdulla Mohammad Saleh.”
The state media reported that Gen Salah resigned on Friday.
Salah has been accused of having a significant role in organizing the Khartoum government’s militias in the Darfur Conflict.
Salah was listed in a confidential annex to a January 30th Security Council report that identifies the 17 Sudanese individuals whom a panel of U.N. experts concluded were most responsible for war crimes and impeding the peace process.
The panel recommended to freeze foreign assets and ban international travel for these individuals.
Salah was also described as “the personal government minder” for Osama bin Laden when the latter was in Sudan between 1990 and 1996.
He also was a point of contact between the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Sudan on counter-terrorism issues.
He at one time told the Al-Ahdath daily from Libya that cooperation with the U.S. “helped avert devastating measures [by the U.S. administration] against Sudan”.
The U.S. allegedly flew Salah to Washington, D.C. in April 2005 to discuss capture of terror suspects.
He was subsequently denied re-entry to the U.S for medical treatment, but was issued a visa for travel to Britain.
In 2006, N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, underwent an assault by a rebel group which sought to overthrow President Idriss Deby Itno. In April 2008, the Chad government released a telephone conversation between Salah and Chadian rebels in which Salah asked for the prompt overthrow of president Deby.
After the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Al-Bashir, Salah supposedly threatened with “amputation of the hands and the slitting of the throats of any person who dares bad-mouth al-Bashir or support” the ICC decision.