The Global Center for Cooperative Security team was saddened to learn of the untimely deaths of our colleagues Mr. Simon Davis and Mr. Clément Gorrissen. The two were killed by a gunman upon arrival at Galkayo Airport in north central Somalia on the morning of Monday, 7 April 2014.
Simon and Clément had traveled to Somalia working as consultants as part of a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) project on the regulation of money value transfer services (MVTS) and the tracking of financial flows linked to piracy within Somalia. While there, the two planned to convene local authorities and remitters from MVTS in the regions of Puntland and Somaliland to discuss progress, and to further identify ways to improve regulation and enhance communication among these parties.
They had worked for many years both in the field and with Somali diaspora members around the world to promote financial integrity, transparency and accountability. Both had proven themselves to be tireless and passionate advocates for a better Somalia, advocating for donor governments and international organizations to prioritize these issues, and traveling to remote and hard-to-access areas within the country to build institutional capacities and implement necessary programming.
Simon and Clément were instrumental partners in the Global Center’s work with the Somali remittance community. They were always willing to collaborate, broker an introduction to counterparts within their networks, and maintain an open channel of communication; in seeking to engage with a society that deals in trust, an endorsement from Simon or Clément to a Somali colleague lent instant credibility. For several years, they collaborated with the Global Center to conduct research; to partake in genuine dialogue via formal and informal roundtables; and to develop practical solutions to challenges confronting the country, including working to develop financial capacities that would maintain the “remittance lifeline” during the closures of several Somali remitters’ bank accounts in 2013.
The Global Center offers its sincere condolences to their families, friends and colleagues, and mourns the loss of two partners whose contributions to the field cannot be overstated. As colleagues and friends, Simon and Clément will be dearly missed.