Fear raised over possible redeployment of Eritrea-trained Somali soldiers in Tigray war

Eritrea-trained Somali soldiers

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Parents of thousands of missing Somali soldiers in Eritrea have raised fear that Asmara could again deploy their sons in the renewed fighting raging in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Caasimada Online news website reported on Friday.

In July, Somali President visited a training camp where Somali soldiers had completed training after paying an official state visit to Eritrea, but his pledge that they would be returned home has not yet been delivered.

The soldiers are missing for more than 3 years and images of some of them shared on social media during Somali president’s visit showed that they were in a derelict situation, months after their parents said they had been subjected to inhumane conditions, including forced labor.

The concerns raised by parents have come weeks after fighting resumed in Tigray region where Eritrean troops bolstering Ethiopian army and Amhara militias are attempting to advance on the war-hit region’s capital despite stiff resistance from TPLF fighters.

Last year, the United Nations and the United States said Somali troops trained by Eritrea had crossed over the border into Tigray region to take part in an offensive aimed at ousting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Somalia has repeatedly denied the claims.

After Mohamud’s visit to Asmara, reports by Somali media outlets indicated that Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki demanded the payment of millions of dollars before soldiers could be returned home. Mohamud’s office dismissed the reports as baseless.

Contact us: info@somaliguardian.com

 

 

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