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Sudanese president names new intelligence chief: state media

world Updated: Aug 14, 2009 09:35 IST

Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir has replaced influential intelligence chief Salah Gosh with his close aide in the agency, General Mohamed Atta al-Moula, under a decree issued early on Friday.

"President of the Republic Omar al-Beshir has issued a Republican Decree appointing Salah Abdallah as a Presidential Advisor," the official Suna news agency said.

"The president has issued another Decree appointing General Mohamed Atta al-Moula as director general of the National Security and Intelligence Organ," the agency said in a terse statement without giving the reasons for the change.

Salah Abdallah, known as Salah Gosh, had run the Sudanese intelligence services since the end of the 1990s. A quiet man who gives few media interviews, he remains one of the most influential figures in Sudan.

At the start of the 90s Sudan had given shelter to Osama Bin Laden but sought after the September 11, 2001 attacks to dissociate itself from the Al-Qaeda leader, hoping to be removed from the American list of countries sheltering terrorist organisations.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Gosh boosted cooperation between Sudan's intelligence service and its American counterpart, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).