By:Zakariye Ahmed, Horn diplomat correspondent
Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud says that the return of Eritrean-trained Somali troops will start this month and finish in January 2023 while speaking to the Somali community in the US.
“The process will begin before the end of December and will be completed in January. It’s ready now, and we don’t expect any delays.”, President Hassan said.
President Hassan has visited those troops in Eritrea twice since he assumed Somalia’s highest office in May. Hassan also previously promised to return those troops during his presidential campaign.
Somalia’s former President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, said that those troops, which are five thousand soldiers, completed their training in the middle of 2021 but haven’t returned to the country for political reasons linked to the 2022 elections in Somalia during the presidential handover ceremony.
President Hassan previously said that those troops were deployed and used to participate in the war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, which his predecessor President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, denied.
United Nations previously reported that Somali soldiers in Eritrea had participated 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.
President Hassan’s announcement comes at a time Somalia’s government are fighting to eliminate Al-Qaeda’s linked group of Al-Shabab, who once ruled most of the country