The Ivorian community in Malta thanked the police for its investigation into the murder of Lassana Cisse and for arresting two men allegedly behind the racially-motivated crime.
Community leader Ousmane Dicko also appealed to the same Police Force to continue doing its job and protect people, including African migrants.
We have seen people who were supposed to be protecting us carry out such acts
“The migrant community is very afraid at the moment as we have seen people who were supposed to be protecting us carry out such acts,” he said.
The comments by Mr Dicko, a friend of Mr Cisse for some years, follow the arraignment of 21-year-old Francesco Fenech and 22-year-old Lorin Scicluna on Sunday.
The two soldiers pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Cisse on Triq il-Ġebel in Birzebugia, the attempted murder of another two men and a hit-and-run incident on the same site earlier this year.
The drive-by shooting on April 6 has sent ripples of fear among black people and migrants in Malta, Mr Dicko, who has been in Malta for 15 years, said.
Mr Cisse died on the spot, metres away from two young men - a 27-year-old from Guinea and a 28-year-old from Gambia – who were injured but survived the drive-by shooting.
Appeal by distraught mother
A father-of-three from the Ivory Coast, Mr Cisse was himself an only child, and his distraught mother has appealed for her son’s body to be returned to Ivory Coast.
Mr Dicko said she was still coming to terms with his death, and paying farewell to his body could bring some closure to the elderly woman.
However, flying Mr Cisse’s body to the Ivory Coast, once released, was going to prove quite challenging because of the costs involved.
Mr Dicko said the cost could run in the thousands, and at the moment the community is still looking for funds.
On Sunday, Archbishop Charles Scicluna announced that the family would be getting help from the proceeds of the Archbishop’s Charity Fund Concert 2019, held on Sunday at St Paul's Cathedral in Mdina.
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