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Sudanese Rebel Leader Says His People Want No War with Israel

A leader of the south Sudanese rebels who signed a truce yesterday with the central government in Khartoum, told an Israeli radio reporter last night that his people want no part of the war against Israel. In a report broadcast from southern Sudan, the reporter quoted the rebel leader as saying: “We are Africans concerned with African matters. We do not want to be involved in Arab politics nor to become part of an Arab federation.”

The leader’s name was unintelligible due to poor atmospheric conditions which interfered with the broadcast. However, according to the Israeli newsman, the south Sudanese do not want to become involved in events far from their borders nor do they accept Khartoum’s contention that a formal state of war exists between the Sudan and Israel even though Sudanese units have fought with the Egyptian Army against Israel in the three Middle East wars since 1948.

Asked if their truce would be affected if Sudan were to join with Egypt, Syria and Libya in the federation they formed last year, the rebel leader said such a move would lead to a complete revision of the south Sudan’s stand, the Israeli reporter said.