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Senior officials voice outrage at killing of two UN consultants in Somalia

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.
UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.

Senior officials voice outrage at killing of two UN consultants in Somalia

Senior United Nations officials today voiced outrage at the killing of two consultants working for the world body’s arm dealing with drugs and crime who were killed in Somalia’s Puntland region.

Clément Gorrissen, aged 28, and Simon Davis, aged 57, had just disembarked from their flight from Hargeisa and were about to go through immigration at Galkayo Airport when a gunman opened fire on them. Both men, staff of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), were fatally wounded in the shooting.

Mr. Gorrissen and Mr. Davis, nationals of France and the United Kingdom, respectively, often worked together and were on mission in Somalia to offer technical advice and to help build local capacities in the specialised field of illicit money flows.

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov strongly condemned the killing of his colleagues in the “cruel and senseless” attack.

“I hope the relevant authorities in Somalia will undertake every effort to ensure that their killers are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice,” he said in a statement.

“I would also like to offer my most profound condolences to the family, loved ones, friends and colleagues of these two individuals, who were so committed and dedicated to UNODC’s work.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the “cold-blooded killing” in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

“The Secretary-General urges the relevant authorities to fully investigate this outrageous crime and to bring the perpetrators to justice without delay,” said the statement. “He expresses his appreciation to all United Nations staff in Somalia for their continued dedication under difficult circumstances.”

Mr. Ban’s Special Representative in Somalia, Nicholas Kay, also condemned the “brutal” murder of the two international consultants, who were in Galkayo to support UNODC efforts in the region.

“Our UN colleagues were working in support of the Somali people’s aspiration for a peaceful and stable future. There can be no justification for such a callous attack,” said Mr. Kay, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

He too called on the authorities to immediately conduct a full investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice without delay.

In a statement issued to the press, the members of the UN Security Council condemned the killings “in the strongest terms” and joined the call for the Somali authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“The members of the Security Council are appalled that individuals working to support the people of Somalia have been killed as they sought to help Somalia progress towards peace and prosperity,” they stated.