UN refugee agency ‘deeply perturbed’ by confirmation of racial motivation behind Ivorian’s murder

UNHCR commends the work of the Maltese police force in apprehending the men allegedly behind the murder of Lassana Cisse Souleymane

Flowers being laid, during a vigil in late April, at the spot where Lassana Cisse Souleymane was murdered
Flowers being laid, during a vigil in late April, at the spot where Lassana Cisse Souleymane was murdered

The United Nation's refugee agency said it was “deeply perturbed” by news reports confirming the murder of Ivory Coast national Lassana Cisse Souleymane was racially motivated.

The UNHCR said in a statement on Saturday afternoon that it commended the work of Malta’s police force in apprehending the alleged perpetrators of the crime, which saw Souleymane shot dead as he was walking home on a road in Hal Far frequently used by migrants.

Read also: AFM soldiers to be charged with Ivorian’s cold-blooded murder, PM: ‘Strong signal to those who spread hate’

It acknowledged the Armed Forces of Malta’s role is rescuing and saving the lives of thousands of refugees and migrants at sea, and called for a thorough investigation and review to “root out any rogue elements within the AFM”. “We stand ready to engage with the local authorities on this issue,” the UNHCR said.

UNHCR Representative to Malta Kahin Ismail said that it was a relief for refugees and migrants living in the locality, as well as the for the community, that the alleged culprits were arrested.

"We appreciate Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Minister Michael Farrugia for reminding the public that hate has no place in Malta, and hope that maximum efforts will be made to combat racism, xenophobia, and discrimination,” Ismail added.

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