UN calls for arrest of Somalia journalist killers

Michael Keating, pictured in a May 2011 epa file photo from Kabul, is to head the UN assistance mission to Somalia. EPA/S. SABAWOON +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
The United Nations top envoy in Somalia on Wednesday called for speedy investigations into the killing of a radio journalist in Somalia.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating, strongly condemned the murder of Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali on Tuesday, who hosted a morning news program for the privately-run Radio Shabelle, in the Yaqshid district of the capital Mogadishu by two unknown gunmen.

“The perpetrators have not yet been identified. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) calls on Somalia authorities to spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice,” Keating said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The motive for the Tuesday evening killing was not immediately apparent, and no one claimed responsibility for the attack.

A highly regarded reporter and producer, Ali became the second Somali journalist to meet a violent death this year.

In June, Sagal Salad Osman, who worked for state-run Radio Mogadishu, was fatally shot as she left her university campus.

A total of 31 Somali journalists have been murdered since August 2012, according to the UNSOM Human Rights and Protection Group.
“Ali was an inquisitive, experienced and resourceful journalist who regularly covered press conferences offered by the international community in Mogadishu,” said Keating.

“His death represents a great loss to the country’s journalistic community, and we extend our thoughts and condolences to Ali’s friends and family,” he added.

Earlier this month, UNSOM and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report on the right to freedom of expression that described Somalia as “a dangerous operating environment” that has especially affected journalists and media professionals.


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