African Leaders Discuss Religious Influences in Political Instabilities

November 10, 2003

Source: AllAfrica Global Media

On November 10, 2003 AllAfrica Global Media reported, "[A]t the 10th Ordinary Intergovernmental Authority on Development summit in Kampala, Uganda, [political leaders discussed] stalemated thorny issues such as the Somali peace process and Ethiopia-Eritrea border tensions...there are the ominous implications of the recent murders of two British nationals outside Hargeisa, the capital of normally peaceful Somali- land, the diplomatically unrecognised northern Somali republic...Noteworthy about these murders is the existence of a coalition of regional forces Egypt, Djibouti and, especially, Saudi Arabia opposed to Somaliland's existence, with a possible interest in its destabilisation. As it is, Somaliland's 'foreign minister,' Edna Adan Ismail, claims that the murders were carried out by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists... There exists a finely tuned religiocultural balance between Islam, Christianity and indigenous faiths throughout northeast Africa, reflecting an environment of religious pluralism. This could all be threatened if Somali- land's pastoral-Sufi Islamic society succumbs to the influence of extremist Saudi Wahhabism."