Nigeria: Christians and Muslims sign peace pact

 Christian and Muslim leaders in Kaduna State, Nigeria signed a declaration of peace between the two communities last Thursday. The agreement appeals for members of both faiths to ensure that neither religion promotes or encourages violence. More than 2,000 people have been killed in religious clashes since Nigeria reintroduced Sharia Law two years ago. The law imposes punishments such as stoning and amputation for theft and flogging for lesser crimes such as drinking alcohol. Tensions are increasing now in the north of the country since an Islamic court decided last week to uphold a sentence that a woman be stoned to death for adultery. Amina Lawal, a divorced woman who conceived a child outside marriage, lost her appeal against the sentence last Monday. She has been sentenced to death once her baby is weaned. Nigeria's justice minister, Kanu Agabi, has condemned the decision. The BBC report that the Nigerian government says it will assist Amina's lawyers with subsequent appeals, in a case that could ultimately end up in the country's supreme court. Commentators in Lagos say a confrontation between supporters and opponents of strict Sharia laws looks almost certain.