Eritrea instrumental in rebuilding of Somali army, says president

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ASMARA, Eritrea - President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud arrived from Eritrea after a two-day working trip which saw him visit the Somali National Army recruits training in the Horn of Africa nation, lauding the country for assisting in rebuilding of the Somali National Army (SNA).

Yemane Meskel, Eritrea's minister of foreign affairs, said Hassan Sheikh had a 'fruitful' trip having engaged President Isaias Afwerki, who has been instrumental in Somalia’s state-building process, which includes strengthening the army.

While in Eritrea, Hassan Sheikh visited a contingent of the Somali National Army officers receiving training at the Eritrea Air Force headquarters in Asmara. The country is rebuilding the once robust Air Force and the Navy which collapsed over three decades ago.

"President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud departed home in mid-morning hours today winding up his fruitful two-day working visit," he said. "Earlier in the day and accompanied by President Isaias, President Hassan S. Mohamud inspected and met with a batch of SNA members who are receiving training at the Eritrean Air Force (EAF) HQ in Asmara."

According to Eritrea’s Minister of Information, Yemane Meskel, President Isaias Afwerki and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud also held extensive discussions on strengthening of bilateral ties and other matters of mutual interest.

Meskel said President Mohamud “applauded Eritrea's modest contribution in the re-building of Somalia's national army as part and parcel of its solidarity with the people and nation of Somalia.”

Eritrea first admitted over 5,000 recruits in 2019 albeit in a clandestine move brokered by former President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed alias Farmajo under the supervision of former intelligence boss Fahad Yasin. Details of the deal would leak later in 2021 or thereabout.

There were claims that the forces were used in perpetuating massacre in northern Ethiopia but both Eritrea and Ethiopia denied the allegations. Somalia has embraced the idea of training more soldiers ahead of the exit of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

GAROWE ONLINE

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