Journalist shot dead in Mogadishu

By Caitlin Pike

The death of BBC foreign affairs journalist Kate Peyton, who was
shot dead last week inMogadishu, has highlighted the constant danger
involved in the reporting of efforts to secure peace and stability in
Somalia.

Peyton, 39, had recently arrived in the capital and was working with
reporter Peter Greste when she was shot by an unidentified gunman near
a hotel used by journalists. She was taken to hospital, but died later
from loss of blood. Greste was not injured in the incident.

“The
fact that she was shot very close to the journalists’ hotel in
Mogadishu suggests that the lawlessness that made journalists prime
targets in Somalia during the 1990s is far from finished,”

said
International Federation of Journalists general secretary, Aidan White.
“This should be a warning to all media that political promises of an
end to the violence are a long way from being delivered.”

Peyton,
who had worked for 10 years in Africa, had originally begun working for
the BBC as a producer and reporter in 1993. She also worked as a
producer and trainer for the South African Broadcasting Corporation in
Johannesburg. She had trained as a journalist in local radio.

BBC
director of news, Helen Boaden said: “Kate was one of our most
experienced and respected foreign affairs producers who had worked all
over Africa, and all over the world. She will be greatly missed, both
professionally and personally.

“Our thoughts are with her
partner, Roger, his daughter, and Kate’s mother, brother and sister.We
are in touch with the family and are doing everything we can to support
them at this terrible time.”

Friend and colleague of Peyton,
Fergal Keane, paid tribute to her on Radio 4’s Today programme. He
said: “She had a personality that imprinted itself on people and a
gentleness, kindness and humility that everyone who met her remembered
and would remember for the rest of their lives.”

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