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Archbishop says Africa's retarded development a terrorist threat

Peoples excluded from genuine development might feel there is no other option in their lives but terrorism, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, the Holy See's secretary for relations with states told a symposium on Africa.

The event on Africa's social and economic development was held in Rome on Friday by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Archbishop Lajolo, the Holy See's secretary for relations with states, presided over the morning session. He said that "after the terrorist attack suffered by the United States on September 11, 2001, the conditions of life of many African countries have decidedly worsened."

The sub-Saharan region is the area "that pays the highest price with its millions of poor and the absence of an effective assistance network," he said.

Yet, Africa's dramas take place amid an "almost general indifference, aroused when it involves citizens or interests of the North of the world," he noted, according to Vatican Radio.

Archbishop Lajolo warned that the "Western world must be aware that, if the path to genuine development is not undertaken, peoples who are excluded will end up by believing that they have no other option but that of terrorism. And this could become a new way of making war."

Lack of Development Could Open Door to Terrorism, Warns Official (Zenit 23/5/04)

25 May 2004