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Global South leaders' conference cancelled over terrorism fears

16 October 2015


Concern: houses in Hammamat, where the conference had been due to take place

Concern: houses in Hammamat, where the conference had been due to take place

A CONFERENCE of Anglican leaders from the Global South has been cancelled at the last minute, owing to fears of a possible terrorist attack.

The Global South conference had been scheduled to take place in Tunisia this week, but on Saturday it was abruptly cancelled.

In a letter to all delegates, the President-Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, Dr Mouneer Anis, explained that the Tunisian authorities had told him that it would be too dangerous to hold the conference.

“This morning, an attempt of assassination happened by terrorist group in the same district of Hammamat where we planned to hold the conference,” Bishop Anis wrote. “I feel very sad; however, I think it is wise to listen to the security.”

A meeting of the Primates from the Global South in Cairo was called instead, beginning on Wednesday. On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Archbishop of Canterbury said that Archbishop Welby would join this meeting “at some point this week, to listen and pray with the Global South Primates”.

Archbishop Welby, who spent the beginning of the week in the United States, had originally planned to attend the conference in Tunisia.

The state of emergency imposed by the President of Tunisia following June’s deadly terrorist attack on a hotel which killed 38 tourists including 30 Britons (News, 3 July), was formally lifted at the beginning of October.

However, the country continues to grapple with militant Islamism — on Monday, two soldiers were killed by jihadists and four others wounded, while they searched for a shepherd who had been kidnapped by the terrorists near the Algerian border.

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