By: Zakeriye Ahmed, Horn diplomat correspondent
Somalia president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud arrived in Asmara yesterday for a four-day official visit at the invitation of President Isaias Afwerki.
This afternoon president Mohamoud along with his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki has visited the Somali National Army troops, who received training in Eritrea today.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has congratulated the troops on their completion and underlined that they are expected to strengthen the Somali National Army.
The training of the soldiers was surrounded by secrecy. In early 2021 the parents of the soldiers protested the missing information about their children. It is the first time information on soldiers has been publicly released since the government sent them to Eritrea nearly three years ago for training.
The former president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, told the press during a handover ceremony two months ago that these 5,000 soldiers completed their training in the middle of 2021 but have not been returned to the country for political reasons relating to the recent parliamentarian and presidential elections.
Hassan Shiekh Mohamoud, who was a leading opposition figure in Somalia during Farmajo’s tenure, has previously accused that the troop were deployed and used to take part in the war in the Tigray region in Ethiopia.
United Nations previously reported that Somali soldiers took part in the war in Ethiopia. Tigray officials also have accused Somali troops were used as a canon shield in the war in the Tigray region.
Hassan Shiekh promised to bring back the troops if elected during his presidential campaign.
© Horn Diplomat 2022