Implication of AFM soldiers in racially-motivated murder 'not a reflection on disciplined corps' - President

George Vella expressed his sadness at the developments concerning the murder of Ivorian Lassana Cisse Souleymane

President George Vella said the implication of two army soldiers in the murder of the Ivorian national was not a reflection on Malta's disciplined corps
President George Vella said the implication of two army soldiers in the murder of the Ivorian national was not a reflection on Malta's disciplined corps

President George Vella has expressed his sadness in connection with the recent developments in the investigations concerning the murder of Ivorian Lassana Cisse Souleymane.

In a press release on Saturday afternoon, Vella, however, reminded that everyone was presumed innocent until found guilty by a court of law.

He said it was “very unfortunate” that the persons suspected of the crime are members of the Armed Forces of Malta, but that this should not reflect badly on the country’s disciplined forces.

“It is very unfortunate that the persons accused are members of a disciplined corps. The President emphasises the fact that this should not in any way reflect on the country’s various disciplined corps, and the upright behaviour of these corps’ members, as well as the sterling work and values of loyalty and dedication to serve the community,” the Office of the President said.

“On behalf of all Maltese and Gozitans, the President would like to convey his sincere condolences to the migrant and foreign community in the country for the heinous murder of a person from amongst their community, and for the others hurt, and assures them that this act does in no way reflect the sentiments of the Maltese and Gozitan people.”

Vella said he was taking this occasion to warn about the dangers of racist, xenophobic, and extremist discourse, and that it should lead to deep reflection.

“This language of hate is to be condemned, and should not take root in Maltese culture,” the statement said, “The President feels that an incident like this should make us reflect deeply and at length, and should steer us to hold a sincere dialogue on the future of the country as a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and tolerant society.”

“The country needs to ensure that everyone develops in a serene environment where security, stability, and prosperity are available to all.”

The President also urged for calm to reign, and for the negative incident to serve to draw people closer together, and to not be manipulated to sow division in society.

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