World, Africa

UN condemns killing of 2 polio workers in Somalia

2 workers risked their lives on frontlines to provide critical health services to vulnerable Somali children, UN says

Magdalene Mukami   | 27.10.2020
UN condemns killing of 2 polio workers in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) confirmed Tuesday that two frontline workers were killed in a militant attack in Mogadishu.

The UN said the polio workers risked their lives to provide critical health services to vulnerable Somali children and offered condolences to the families.

”I offer my sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of two polio workers who were killed in Somalia earlier today. UNICEF condemns the attack in the strongest terms. Humanitarian workers are not a target,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement.

The UN noted attacks on health workers are a violation of international law and must not be tolerated and urged authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation, “Humanitarian workers should never be a target,” it said.

Somalia is among high-risk polio outbreak countries because of its fragile and vulnerable population that mostly includes nomads, displaced people and those living in rural and slum areas.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but Somali-based, al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group, al-Shabaab, has claimed responsibility in the past for similar attacks in the Horn of Africa country.

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