Mohammed Atta Abbas Al Moula

Sudan’s ruling military council on Sunday said it had sacked Khartoum’s top envoy to Washington days after the army ouster of veteran leader Omar al-Bashir.

The military council has decided to sack Sudan’s charge d’affaires to Washington, Mohamed Atta, the council’s spokesman Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi told reporters.

Atta, a former chief of the feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), was appointed in July 2018 at a time when relations between the two countries had entered a new phase after the United States lifted decades of sanctions imposed on Sudan.

He had been part of the team that negotiated the lifting of trade embargo in October 2017.

The US imposed sanctions on Khartoum in 1997 over its alleged support to Islamist militants. Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden lived in Sudan between 1992 to 1996.

Under Atta, NISS had stepped up its overall crackdown on opposition activists and anti-government media coverage.

He was replaced as NISS chief by Salih Ghosh, who himself resigned after long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted on Thursday.

On Sunday, the military council appointed Abu Baker Mustafa as chief of NISS.

The changes came as United States, Britain and Norway said Sunday it was time for Sudan’s military rulers and other parties to hold talks over the country’s transition to civilian rule.

The three countries said Sudan’s new ruling transitional military council had pledged to transfer power to a civilian government, but the “legitimate change” that the Sudanese people demand had still not happened.

“It is time for the transitional military council and all other parties to enter into an inclusive dialogue to effect a transition to civilian rule,” the embassies of the three countries said in a statement.

“This must be done credibly and swiftly, with protest leaders, political opposition, civil society organisations, and all relevant elements of society, including women.”

The three countries also insisted that the continuing peaceful protests “must not be met with violence from any quarter”.

“Sudan needs an orderly transition to civilian rule leading to elections in a reasonable time frame.”

The three countries reiterated their call for the release of political prisoners, as it condemned acts of violence by “legacy forces of the former regime”.

Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron-fist for 30 years, was deposed on Thursday by the army after tens of thousands of people protested for months against his rule, accusing it of mismanaging the economy and corruption.

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