It's a dinner that provokes controversy. As revealed by the news site Streetpress, two majority French MPs dined last October 10 at the Embassy of Sudan in Paris with the new boss of the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Mr. Salah Gosh. A service he had already run for a decade until 2009. This dinner symbolizes how much links have been strengthened between Paris and Khartoum and have been for several months. Must we be surprised at the general hypocrisy when it comes to his arrival that was not at all a surprise?

Paris-Khartoum, a mutual cooperation dating from the 1980s

Sudan: Salah Gosh the NISS chief visiting Paris

It's a dinner that provokes controversy. As revealed by the news site Streetpress, two majority French MPs dined last October 10 at the Embassy of Sudan in Paris with the new boss of the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Mr. Salah Gosh. A service he had already run for a decade until 2009. This dinner symbolizes how much links have been strengthened between Paris and Khartoum and have been for several months. Must we be surprised at the general hypocrisy when it comes to his arrival that was not at all a surprise?

For four days, the two MPs of the majority have tried to justify themselves. No, they did not know Salah Gosh was attending this dinner. Besides, they did not know this man or his career. However, on his return from New York where he attended the UN General Assembly, it was well planned to make a stop by Paris.

MP Carole Bureau-Bonnard is one of the vice-presidents of the Assembly who participated in this meeting. "If I had known it was this character, I would not have gone, of course," she explains. And for good reason, some NGOs accuse the man of being responsible for crimes committed in Darfur. In addition to his dinner with the two deputies, Salah Gosh participated in meetings with members of the French interior and exterior services, discussions with the DGSE and the DGSI. On the agenda of the discussions: political issues and in particular the issues that concern the regional situation, relations between Sudan and the Central African Republic and many other issues such as Libya and Sudan's domestic policy. French and Sudanese services have been collaborating since the end of the 1980s. Since the recent lifting of the embargo and the large wave of Sudanese migrants affecting Europe, France has seen fit to strengthen ties with Khartoum, particularly the NISS.

Should we recall the record of the arrests and attacks avoided in Sudan and neighboring countries thanks to the NISS? NGOs unjustly accuse Sudan of supporting terrorism but the reality is very different! For years, especially since 9/11, Sudan has cooperated, with supporting evidence, with the CIA, the DGSE and many other intelligence services. We are the best allies of those who demolish us.

"Must we recall the record of the arrests and attacks avoided in Sudan and neighboring countries by the NISS?" The NGOs unjustly accuse Sudan of supporting terrorism but the reality is different! For years especially since September 11, the Sudan cooperates, with supporting evidence, with the CIA, the DGSE and many other intelligence services.We are the best allies of those who demolish us. " NISS member said in an interview with 54 states.

Searching through the archives, it is easy to find the case of the Venezuelan international terrorist Llich Ramírez Sánchez, known as "Carlos" who, in 1974, blew up a car in front of the offices of several French newspapers.

September 15, the terrorist commits an attack against the drugstore of Saint-Germain causing two dead and thirty-four wounded.

At the end of June 1975, the DST managed to locate him; two policemen are shot dead when arrested; a third counterintelligence officer is seriously injured. Carlos manages to escape to Syria. In 1991, Carlos, considered undesirable in Syria goes to Jordan then to Sudan.

Carlos was extradited from Sudan to France in August 1994. This exfiltration operation was clearly undertaken by the French services in coordination with the Sudanese authorities. It took place under the management of this same Salah Gosh that NGOs deem persona non grata.

Another type of cooperation. Sudan has signed more than 13 cooperation agreements with the UN to curb terrorism. Another example is Sudan's Faisal Islamic Bank, which in 2014, in agreement with the Sudanese National Council, passed the Anti-Money Laundering (ALM) law on combating money laundering and counter-terrorism financing.

One thing is certain, Sudan needs investment to develop, especially since 80% of its oil resources are in South Sudan. Sudanese diplomacy is active in this regard. Is all this blameworthy?

Priscilla Wolmer
Directrice de la rédaction