Somalia signs memorandum of understanding with Eritrea


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding on multifaceted security and defense cooperation with Eritrea’s ruler Isaias Afwerki before wrapping up a four-day state visit to Asmara.

For the first since his election, Mohamud was allowed access to thousands of missing soldiers, who had completed clandestine military training in Eritrea. He repeated his promise to return them home as authorities vow to launch an offensive against Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabaab militants.

Before ending his visit on Tuesday, he signed a 7-point agreement with his Eritrean counterpart, including cooperation on security, defense and trade.

Martin Plaut, a journalist specializing on the Horn of Africa, says the “seven point Memorandum is bland and hardly worth reading” since the two presidents have not made the real issues public.

Rashid Abdi, a Horn of Africa political and security analyst, says Eritrean leader has forced Somali President to sign a tripartite agreement earlier struck by the then President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo with Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Afwerki has emerged the winner. He got oxygen of publicity, forced HSM [Hassan Sheikh Mohamud] to agree to Tripartite Alliance and had his ego stroked,” he tweeted. “As for what HSM won in return, we will see. Nothing in the MoU gives any clarity…”

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