8 July 2013 – The United Nations envoy in Somalia today underscored the importance of protecting journalists and defending press freedom, following the killing of a television reporter on Sunday.

Libaan Abdullahi Farah ‘Qaran,’ a reporter for Kalsan TV based in Gaalkacyo, the capital of the north-central region of Mudug, was reportedly shot dead while returning home from work.

Nicholas Kay, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the deceased, and to all media professionals in Somalia.

“UNSOM is dedicated to working with Somali authorities to strengthen the security and justice sectors in order to ensure that Somalia is safe and that perpetrators of violent crime are brought to justice,” he stated in a news release.

Mr. Kay also noted that this is a “politically tense” period in Puntland ahead of local elections, and he called for restraint on the part of all political actors.

UNSOM said the latest killing brings to five the number of journalists murdered this year in Somalia, which continues to be one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a media professional.