Thursday October 29, 2020
MOGADISHU (HOL) – The UN in Somalia has condemned the murder of two aid workers who were involved in polio vaccination campaign in Mogadishu.
UN head in Somalia James Swan said the killing of the aid workers was ‘reprehensible.’
“These workers were civilians providing critical health services to vulnerable children in Mogadishu. The United Nations strongly condemns this reprehensible act and emphasizes that in conflict situations all parties must respect and protect civilians,” Swan said.
UNICEF Somalia confirmed the two workers were involved with an ongoing polio vaccination campaign, organized jointly with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Federal Ministry of Health. The UN mission called on authorities in Somalia to conduct investigatins into the killings. Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Adam Abdelmoula also voiced his concerns.
“The deaths of these two health workers are a gross violation of International Humanitarian Law. As humanitarians, they were on the frontline trying to contain a polio outbreak. It is abhorrent they were killed while trying to help others,” said Abdelmoula.
This killing comes at a time when 23 children have been infected with polio in Somalia. In the country’s south and central regions, humanitarian workers having been working without pause to reach 1.65 million children with oral polio vaccines, including nearly half a million children in Mogadishu.