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Tutu: Poverty fueling terror

  • Story Highlights
  • Tutu: Global "war on terror" can't be won if people in "desperate" conditions
  • Archbishop tells CNN poverty, disease, ignorance fueling conflict
  • Nobel laureate says Myanmar government "running scared"
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From CNN's Mary Lloyd
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HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- The global "war on terror" can't be won if people are living in "desperate" conditions, Archbishop Desmond Tutu told CNN.

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu says "war on terror" will be thwarted by poverty, disease and ignorance.

"You can never win a war against terror as long as there are conditions in the world that make people desperate -- poverty, disease, ignorance, et cetera," the Nobel laureate said.

Tutu is in Hong Kong, where he is due to give a lecture on conflict resolution, reconciliation and forgiveness.

He said the disparity between the rich and poor in parts of the world causes instability and insecurity, but added that he was hopeful the relationship between the two was becoming clear.

"I think people are beginning to realize that you can't have pockets of prosperity in one part of the world and huge deserts of poverty and deprivation and think that you can have a stable and secure world," he said.

The former head of South Africa's Anglican church is an advocate of reconciliation, and he often speaks out against violence and is a frequent critic of human rights abusers.

Tutu also discussed with CNN the military junta in Myanmar, formerly Burma. Tutu described the rulers of that southeastern Asian county as "a military dictatorship that is running dead scared of a woman."

He was referring to fellow Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, a leading dissident and pro-democracy activist there. Aung San Suu Kyi's politics have led to her being held in varying degrees of detention off and on since 1989.

"The fact of the matter is she has nothing except her moral authority," said Tutu, adding that he believed recent street protests against the junta could signal an end to military rule.

Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his vocal opposition and leadership against South Africa's apartheid system -- a government-sanctioned policy of racial separation which ended in 1994. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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