The shooting dead of a Maltese man in Somalia was motivated by money and not terrorism, according to those monitoring the situation in the region.
Paul Anthony Formosa, 52, from Marsascala, was fatally attacked by Al-Shabaab gunman on Monday in the port of Bosaso, in the semi-autonomous Puntland state.
Speaking to The Times of Malta, Director of the Institute of Global Studies in Rome Dr Nicola Pedde said: “This was a Mafia-style execution. They have occasionally carried out these activities in the past, but usually against journalists and those affecting them directly.”
Mr Formosa was a port manager at P&O Ports, a subsidiary of the Dubai-based global operator DP World, which was granted a controversial concession in April 2017 to develop and operate the port.
The Puntland region has become more dangerous in recent years as China and the UAE set about acquiring and developing several ports, angering extremists.
Dr Pedde believes that the killing was part of broader operations targeting the companies that are choking Al-Shabaab's main sources of finance.
“They may be accusing these companies of looting Somalia, but the real motivation is that they need the ports to get money. These companies have hijacked one of their most important sources of economic income on the ground.”