Somali President visits training camps of Somali cadets in Eritrea

Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday October 10, 2023

Mogadishu (HOL) – Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, accompanied by his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki, visited the training camps of Somali Navy and Air Force cadets in Eritrea on Monday.

President Mohamud held discussions with army officers and expressed his appreciation for the security partnership between Somalia and Eritrea and their continued support in the ongoing battle against international terrorism.

However, the two Presidents did not provide specific details regarding the return of the cadets to their country to participate in military operations. According to the military source, Eritrea-trained Somali troops are playing a crucial role in ongoing military operations in central regions of Somalia.

Last week, the Ministry of Information reported that military offensives in Galmudug and Hirshabelle states in central Somalia over the past two months killed 1,650 al-Shabab militants and injured more than 550 others.

In 2019, the first group of these troops, totalling 5,000, was discreetly sent to Eritrea for training. Many Somalis expressed concerns about this training, fearing that some soldiers would be used in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict. Pressure from the soldiers’ parents led to calls for their return.

HOL could not find evidence that Somali soldiers were ever deployed to Tigray.