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Somali President visits Somali army brigade trained in Eritrea

Monday July 11, 2022

Mogadishu (HOL) - Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud visited the Somali army brigade trained in Eritrea on Sunday.

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki accompanied President Mohamud congratulated the recruits for completing the training.

The President’s visit marked the first time the Eritrean-trained Somali soldiers appeared in public.

The clandestine training program, launched by the Farmajo administration and managed by NISA, came under heavy criticism by opposition figures and family members of the soldiers. 

The federal government and top military officials denied that the training program was in operation.

Former President Farmajo signed a tripartite security pact in Asmara with Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki in September 2018.

Following his electoral defeat in May, Farmajo acknowledged that recruits were sent to Eritrea for training. He added that they would have been repatriated sooner but that the heightened tensions created by the protracted elections delayed their return.

Last year, a UN report alleged that Eritrea-trained Somalia troops fought alongside Eritrean soldiers in the Tigray war. A Globe and Mail report published in January alleged that the Somali soldiers committed war crimes in at least six Tigrayan villages between December 2020 and February 2021.

President Mohamud announced that the five thousand recruits who completed their training last year would return home to participate in the new offensive campaign against Al- Shabaab.


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