Kate Peyton, a producer for the British Broadcasting Corp., was murdered on Feb. 9 while on assignment in Somalia. She was 39.
Peyton had only been in Mogadishu for a few hours when an unknown militiaman gunned her down outside the Sahafi Hotel. Shot in the back, she later died in surgery from internal bleeding. BBC reporter Peter Greste was with Peyton during the shooting, but he escaped injury.
Although she was raised in Suffolk, England, Peyton loved Africa and was devoted to sharing stories about its people. Based in Johannesburg, she had covered the continent for the BBC for the past 12 years. Peyton also worked as a producer and trainer for the South African Broadcasting Corp., and occasionally filed stories with National Public Radio in the United States.
The British journalist went to Somalia to do a series of reports on the country, which has not had a functioning national government for 14 years. Although rival warlords continue to battle for control of its capital city, members of the transitional government plan to return on Feb. 21 and stabilize the region. Since Mogadishu doesn’t have a working police force, no formal investigation has been launched to bring Peyton’s killer to justice.
“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,” BBC Director of News, Helen Boaden, said.
At least eight foreign journalists have been killed covering Somalia since 1991.