Why did Eritrea delay sending back the Somali soldiers it had trained?

Why did Eritrea delay sending back the Somali soldiers it had trained?

MOGADISHU, Somalia – The Eritrean government delayed the release of Somali soldiers training in the country due to the politics of the time in the Horn of Africa nation, which was going through turbulent times following a conflict between the administration of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and the opposition.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the then opposition leader and now president, had mobilized several anti-government leaders to push for the repatriation of soldiers to the country after their families complained of being left out of the country. balance with the silent state. the question.

On Friday in America, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud agreed with Eritrea, saying that Isaias Afwerki, the President of Eritrea, has studied the atmosphere in the country and has decided to delay the repatriation of the more than 5,000 soldiers. who have been training in the country since 2019.

He said Eritrea had “good intentions” in training Somali forces. As pressure was brought to bear on Eritrea, the opposition claimed troops were being trained to help Farmajo rig the election after his bid to extend his term failed due to the military divide in Somalia.

In Eritrea, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud added that the more than 5,000 troops are not only undergoing rigorous training, but are also equipped with movement that will help the country effectively combat Al-Shabaab terrorists. Eritrea has recently worked closely with Somalia on counterterrorism.

Currently, the Somali government is working on ways and means to bring the trained troops back to Eritrea; asked the United States to support Somalia and soon we will bring them back and I am sure they will contribute to the war against Al-Shabaab. The United States has pledged to assist in the repatriation process.

After winning the presidential elections, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud visited troops in various camps in Eritrea together with Isaias Afwerki. The president assured the families that they would soon be in touch with the soldiers and even made phone calls to their parents.

The exercise carried out in 2019 under the supervision of former spy chief Fahad Yasin was so clandestine that the country had no idea of ​​the process. It took Garowe Online investigations to uncover the activity following a whistleblower from senior government officials who had serious concerns.

Initially, the soldiers were lied to by being told that they had to train in Qatar in order to end up in Asmara. A report by the UN Special Rapporteur in Eritrea established that the troops had been used to carry out a massacre in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, a claim both governments have denied.

Eritrea is accused of sending troops to Ethiopia where thousands of people have been killed over the past two years. Last week, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front demanded that Eritrean troops leave Tigray before Mekelle joins peace talks with the Ethiopian administration under Abiy Ahmed.


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