|A SENIOR Sudanese security official blamed for massacres in the Darfur region of the country was allowed into Britain for medical treatment last week. Salah Abdallah Gosh, director of the national security and intelligence service in Khartoum, obtained a British visa even though a United Nations panel has recommended that he and 16 other officials be banned from travelling abroad. |
Gosh returned home on Thursday. The Sudanese embassy gave no details of his medical condition. The UN panel recommends that Gosh and two other Sudanese officials Elzubier Bashir Taha, the interior minister, and Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, the defence minister be charged with war crimes. It says in an annexe to its report that Gosh failed to neutralise and disarm non-state armed militia groups in Darfur and could face criminal charges because he bore command responsibility for acts of arbitrary detention, harassment (and) torture. The panel has recommended freezing overseas assets such as bank accounts belonging to all 17 people on its list. Omar Hassan Ahmed el- Bashir, the Sudanese president, and Idriss Deby, his contemporary in neighbouring Chad, appear on a secondary list of five individuals being considered for future sanctions. Gosh is close to el-Bashir and, according to exiled opponents, may have been involved in other notorious security operations.
Gosh has close links with the CIA, which regards him as an ally in the war on terror. The agency flew him to Virginia last April to discuss intelligence on Al-Qaeda but the trip provoked disquiet in Congress and the State Department and embarrassed President Bush, who has called the Sudanese governments actions in Darfur genocide. The British governments willingness to allow Gosh into the country has astonished critics of the Sudanese regime.