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Sudanese Source: Scandal around former presidential aid has no influence on relations with Saudi

June 20, 2017 at 4:27 am

Image of Senior Sudanese official, General Taha Osman Al Hussein on 24 April 2017 [Qatar Tribune/Facebook]

Reliable Sudanese sources confirmed yesterday that Colonel Taha Osman Khamees has been dismissed from his position as Minister of State and Director of the Office of President by President Al- Bashir.

In an exclusive interview with Quds Press Tayeb Zein Al-Abidin, a professor of political science at the University of Khartoum, explained that that Al-Bashir was driven to fire Khamees by the Colonel’s own actions.

Colonel Taha Al-Hussein started acting outside the limits of his post and began exercising responsibilities that angered a number of parities within the state

Al-Abidin said.

Al-Abidin went on to say: “It turned out that Colonel Taha acted outside the remit of his job, particularly through establishing improper relations with  Saudi Arabia and the UAE when he was sent by the President to represent him at the recent American summit. In so doing, he angered many parties in Sudan, including the Vice President and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs.”

Read: How long can Sudan stay neutral in the Gulf crisis?

He also pointed out that “the governor of Khartoum and former Minister of Defence, Abdel Rahim Hussein, was also harmed by Taha’s actions. Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh also is not satisfied with the situation”.

Zine Al-Abidine stressed that “what has raised doubts about Taha is that he was granted Saudi nationality by Riyadh which facilitates his entry to and exit from the Kingdom. The security authorities proved also that Taha has huge amounts of money.”

Zine Al-Abidine refuted assertions that Saudi Arabia was itself to blame: “It is true that his relationship with Saudi Arabia is suspicious, but this is ultimately an internal matter that concerns Sudan. I do not think it has any impact on Sudan’s relations with Saudi Arabia,” he said.

It is certain that Taha is now in Saudi Arabia. Though he was recently released and allowed to travel by the order of President Al-Bashir after having been held by security authorities who were investigating the source of his money.

And concerning the assumptions that this file is related to the developments of the Sudanese position on the crisis of Qatar boycott, Zine Al-Abidine claimed that “there is a conviction among the majority of Sudanese people that the blockade imposed on Qatar is an unjust siege. It is not at all probable that Sudan will cut its relationship with Qatar or reduce it, and Khartoum will not accept it.”

He asserted further that “Sudan wants to be a mediator between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and there are reports that President Al-Bashir may visit Qatar after Saudi Arabia, which he visited today.”

On Wednesday, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir issued a decree dismissing Taha Osman and appointing Hatem Hassan Bakhit instead as State Minister and Director of the Presidential Office.

At the time there were conflicting reports on the reasons for the anger of the Sudanese presidency over Osman, who is considered the strong ally of Al-Bashir and influential in various important policy areas including Sudan’s relations with the Gulf States and the file of lifting US sanctions.