UN deplores killing of experts in Somalia

Updated: 2014-04-10 03:11


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NAIROBI - The UN anti-drug agency on Wednesday deplored the killing of its staff in Somalia and called on the authorities to speed up arrest of those involved in the heinous act.

The 28-year-old Clement Gorrissen and Simon Davis, aged 57, who were working for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) were killed in an attack by an unidentified gunmen in Puntland, Somalia on Monday.

"The two men, who often worked together, were on mission in Somalia to offer technical advice and to help build local capacities in the specialized field of illicit money flows," John Sandage, director of Division of Treaty Affairs said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Sandage said Gorrissen and Davis had only just disembarked from their flight from Hargeisa and were about to go through immigration at Galkayo airport when a gunman opened fire on them.

"Many Somali communities are dependent on the remittances they receive through money transfer systems. Gorrissen and Davis dedicated their efforts to ensuring that licit money services were available to the Somali people, but the criminals were prevented from making a profit," Sandage said.

"Gorrissen and Davis are irreplaceable to UNODC, but their loss falls far harder on the many people they touched with their professional enthusiasm and energy."

Sandage said Gorrissen, a French citizen, who was born on March 1986 first worked for UNODC in 2010 as part of the Global Program against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism (GPML).

Gorrissen had considerable knowledge of Somalia and had helped to develop and coordinate UNODC's activities in the Horn of Africa.

Davis, a British citizen, was born in January 1957. Before working for UNODC, Davis had a long and distinguished career in the Metropolitan police force and specialized in tracking financial movements. Davis also worked closely with the British government in the then evolving area of piracy.

The UNODC said Davis played an outstanding role in establishing a dialogue with the business community in Somalia as well as back home in Britain.

"They were experts in a complex field who worked hard at developing a common understanding between the authorities and those involved in handling money transfers," Sandage said.