[WATCH] 'This is not the country I know,' Adrian Delia says

The Nationalist Party has asked for an independent inquiry into how the young soldiers charged with the Souleymane murders were engaged in the Armed Forces of Malta and whether there was anything that could have been done to prevent the murder

Adrian Delia at a political event in Siggiewi
Adrian Delia at a political event in Siggiewi

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said that he barely recognised Malta anymore and that this wasn't the country he grew up in, referring to the recent murder of Lassana Cisse Souleymane, of which two Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) soldiers were accused on Sunday.

"We have a Prime Minister who keeps saying that Malta is as safe as it ever was. I'm not going to scare you or alarm you, but ask yourself: is Malta the same as it was a few years ago?" Delia said.

He was speaking at a political activity in Siggiewi when he said that Maltese society was changing swiftly and drastically and that, likewise, racism was on the rise.

"Our children spend hours upon hours playing games where they kill, kill, kill," Delia said. "Souleymane was killed for no reason apart from the skin colour. What difference does the colour of the skin make? We are all people."

Delia said that while people should presume innocence and that he wouldn't want a trial by media, it was clear that Souleymane's murder was motivated by racist sentiments and that Malta, "a country known for its heart, the nurse of the Mediterranean," should make a clear statement that this is unacceptable, that racism has no place on the island.

"We need to take responsibility. This country needs to take a stand. It's good to speak about Malta being the best in Europe, but if we don't have a soul, if we lose our values, all our success will mean nothing," he said.

He added that though this was a delicate subject, it did not make sense to avoid speaking about immigration, especially because it was one of the most significant problems facing the country today.

"We need to discuss this topic with responsibility so that we define what our problems are and to start seeing how we can solve them. The PN politics are clear on this issue: we should respect everyone's fundamental human rights, we need to be just with those who merit protection, stern with those who are not eligible and harsh with those who are abusing of vulnerable people," Delia insisted.

Delia announced that the PN has asked for an independent inquiry into how the two soldiers accused with the murder of Souleymane were engaged into the Armed Forces of Malta and whether there was anything that the Armed Forces could do to prevent the crime.

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