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Hague urges Somalia murder inquiry

Foreign Secretary William Hague has called for an urgent investigation into the murder of a British United Nations worker in Somalia.

The UN consultant and a colleague - reported to be French - were shot dead at Galkayo Airport in the Puntland region.

"It is with deep regret that I can confirm the murder of a British national and a colleague," Mr Hague said.

"I condemn these brutal murders in the strongest terms and offer my deep condolences to both families.

"Both were working for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to help deliver a better future for Somalia. I urge the Somali authorities to urgently investigate these murders, so as to bring the perpetrators to justice."

Reports said the men were about to board a plane to Nairobi, Kenya, when a man wearing a police or a security official's uniform opened fire on them.

Puntland is an arid region of north east Somalia, which has become infamous as a hub of piracy operations in the seas around that country.

Last week, a 500-bed prison opened in Garowe, the capital of Puntland. The UNODC said the building was a "key" part of its maritime crime programme in the Horn of Africa aimed at combating piracy.

Yury Fedotov, UNODC executive director, said: "I condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of two of my colleagues in a 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.

"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."

Nicholas Kay, United Nations special representative for Somalia, said: "There can be no justification for such a callous attack. I call on the authorities to conduct a full investigation immediately and bring the perpetrators to justice without delay.

"I offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims. The United Nations in Somalia remains committed to continuing our vital support to the Somali people as they emerge from decades of conflict."


From Belfast Telegraph