US Says Somali Troops ‘Were in Ethiopia’


NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – The United States is ware that there were troops from Somalia who had been deployed in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, a senior State Department official said this week, confirming a UN report that revealed the whereabouts of missing Somali recruits.

“We are aware that there were some Somali troops that were in Ethiopia,” Acting assistant secretary of US Bureau for African Affairs Robert F. Godec said, adding that it was not known if the soldiers were engaged in “actual kind of offensive operations”.

Asked about the reason behind the deployment of Somali troops in the war raging in Ethiopia’s north, he said the soldiers had been trained by Eritrean forces as a result of agreements and “that appears to be the reason”.

Somalia’s government which earlier denied sending troops to Ethiopia to fight alongside Ethiopian and Eritrean forces there, has not immediately commented on the remarks.

In a report, the United Nations said in June that a number of Somali soldiers had been moved from military training camps in Eritrea and crossed into Ethiopia’s Tigray region after what the Ethiopian government billed as a “law enforcement” operation had begun last year. It confirmed that the soldiers “were present around Aksum”.

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