Mogadishu (HAN) April 9, 2014 – The United States has strongly condemned the killing of two employees of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Somalia’s Puntland region on Monday, and urged authorities there to bring those responsible to justice as soon as possible.
A British man shot dead while working for the UN in Somalia was a former Scotland Yard detective who launched a new career tracking illegal payments financing terrorism.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed in the attack. The United States urges the relevant authorities to fully investigate this crime and to bring the perpetrators to justice without delay,” read a statement issued by US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki late on Monday.
“We reiterate our appreciation to all United Nations staff in Somalia for their continued dedication under difficult circumstances. The United States and the United Nations remain determined to support the people and the Federal Government of Somalia in their efforts to strengthen peace, security, and the rule of law,” the statement added.
Simon Davis, of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, was hired by the United Nations to meet with Somali businesses and government officials to discuss ways to make sure al-Qaeda was not using money transfer systems to fund attacks. He and a French colleague were attacked soon after they landed on Monday morning in Galkayo, the town in central Somalia closest to the country’s pirate strongholds.
At least two men, one in a Somali police officer’s uniform, opened fire with an AK-47 as Mr Davis and his colleague, Clement Gorrissen, waited to for their visas to be stamped inside the airport’s immigration building.
Both men died within minutes. Their bodies were due to be flown to Nairobi, capital of neighbouring Kenya, on Tuesday night before being repatriated.
The United Nations has on Tuesday airlifted the bodies of two of its officials who were shot dead at the Galkayo airport yesterday. The United Nations deputy representative to Somalia Philippe Lazzarini told the media at Galkayo airport that it was a very shocking experience for the world body to learn the assassination of its officials urging the government of Puntland to do its utmost to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“The cooperation between Puntland and the UN agencies will continue and we hope that such brutal killing will not stop both sides from cooperating” Lazzarini told the media at the airport, but accentuated that the culprits must not escape from punishment.
The two senior UN officials also called on the authorities to immediately conduct a full investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice without delay.
Sources: HAN & Geeska Afrika Online (1985-2014), The oldest free independent Free Press in the region, brings together top journalists from across the Horn of Africa. Including Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Djibouti, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Afar and Harari. Plus, we have daily translations from 150 major news organizations in the Middle East and East African regions. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
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