‘Pay Dispute’ Behind Sudan shooting

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The intelligence service was loyal to Omar al-Bashir before the protests that ousted him image via AFP

A pay dispute by disgruntled members of Sudan’s intelligence service was behind heavy gunfire on the streets of the capital, Khartoum, earlier on Tuesday, the information minister says.

Negotiations were going on, he said, in an effort to end what both the government and the army have described as a mutiny.

The international airport has been closed and armoured vehicles have been seen on the streets.

The General Intelligence Service, formerly known as the NISS, was Sudan’s most feared security agency and was loyal to Omar al-Bashir before he was ousted as president amid protests last April.

It is in the process of being disbanded and the shooting seems to have been a demonstration of anger by its members who are demanding better severance pay.

The incident is a reminder that Sudan remains in a precarious situation despite the jubilation that swept across the country following the ousting of Mr Bashir.

The gains that have been made could unravel during this three-year period of political transition with the military and civilians sharing power.

Dismantling the enormous security apparatus that Mr Bashir created in order to stay in power is fraught with danger as much-feared units like the intelligence service stand to lose power and access to money.

Source: BBC

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