The first batch of several thousand Somali troops that were sent to Eritrea for training in 2019 and 2020 have arrived back in Mogadishu. The remaining will come back in the coming days according to an official statement.
“The Federal Govt of Somalia expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the President & people of Eritrea for their generosity in hosting such a big number of Somali forces in their country, despite the challenges presented by such a big mission”
Parents of the soldiers had feared their sons would be used in Ethiopia’s Tigray war, in which Eritrea was involved. However, Somalia’s government denied its troops had been used in combat.
President Hassan congratulated the trainees on completing a rigorous training program and underlined the contributions they are expected to make in bolstering the Somali National Army.
The trained soldiers will be part of the ongoing fight against (extremist group) al-Shabab in several regions of the country.
President Isaias for his part expressed Eritrea’s honor and pride in the endeavor that reflected special and historic bilateral ties.
“Eritrea feels honored and proud to contribute to the training and build-up of the Somali national army,” President Isaias said.
The return of the soldiers follows current president Mohamud's promise that the soldiers would soon return home when he visited the Somali soldiers in Eritrea in July and November.