Sudan army says repels rebel attack in Nuba area

August 11, 2001 (Reuters)

Sudanese government troops have repelled an attack by southern rebels in the Nuba mountains area of south Sudan, the army was reported as saying on Saturday.

Sudan's official SUNA news agency quoted army spokesman Mohamed Bashir Suleiman as saying the army inflicted heavy casualties on Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) attackers at Um Hudaib. There was no word on when the attack took place.

Suleiman called on people who he said had been forced to carry weapons to abandon military action and return home. Many of the three million Nuba people, who live mainly in the mountains in Southern Kordofan State 500 km (310 miles) southwest of Khartoum, have joined the SPLA against Khartoum.

The SPLA has been fighting since 1983 for autonomy in black African south Sudan from the Muslim, Arab north.