MOGADISHU – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has condemned the killing of two humanitarian workers responding to the poliovirus outbreak in Somalia.
The pair was killed in the capital, Mogadishu, during an attack on Wednesday.
Suspected militants of the Al-Shabaab are suspected to be behind the attack.
“These brave polio workers were on the frontlines, risking their lives to provide critical health services to vulnerable children,” Jesper Moller, UNICEF Somalia representative, lamented
The envoy offered UNICEF’s condolences to the families of the victims.
Moller said attacks on health workers were a violation of international law and must not be tolerated.
The official called on the authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation.
“Humanitarian workers should never be a target,” Moller said.
Al-Shabaab, an Islamist sect, has been perpetrating attacks in Somalia since 2006.
Since the beginning of 2020, some 13 humanitarian workers have been killed.
The killings have been documented from 249 attacks against the aid workers between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020.
In those incidents, 28 humanitarian workers were injured and 25 were abducted.
Somalia is prone to polio and on October 24, joined the global community to mark World Polio Day.
It has reported two cases of the virus in August and September.
This week, health workers aimed to reach 1,65 million children with the oral polio vaccine.