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Friday, March 31, 2023


    President of Somalia declares that troops in Eritrea will return home this month.

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    The president of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, announced on Monday that troops returning home from training in Eritrea this month will start a drill that will go until January.

    There have been persistent rumors in Somalia for months that the soldiers may have been sent to the war-torn Tigray area of Ethiopia.

    Mohamud stated at a diaspora forum while visiting the United States that “by the end of this December they would start coming (home) and in January their return will be finished.” State media aired a video of Mohamud’s remarks.

    “We have prepared for that matter, and, God willing, we don’t anticipate any delays going forward.”

    Mohamud visited the soldiers at training camps in Eritrea in July after promising to bring them home during his election campaign.

    Last year, during the administration of Mohamud’s predecessor, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, popularly known as Farmajo, families of soldiers who had gone missing staged repeated protests to demand information about their whereabouts.

    Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker, the UN’s special rapporteur on the state of human rights in Eritrea, mentioned “reports that Somali soldiers were moved from military training camps in Eritrea to the frontline in Tigray, where they accompanied Eritrean troops” in support of Ethiopian federal forces fighting rebels in June of last year.

    Farmajo reported that his government had dispatched some 5,000 soldiers to train in Eritrea at the end of May.

    In order to avoid interfering with parliamentary and presidential elections, he said their training had concluded last year but that he had opted to put off their return.

    In order to put an end to the harsh two-year conflict and humanitarian disaster in northern Ethiopia, the federal government of Ethiopia and Tigrayan rebels signed a peace agreement last month.

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