Somalia appoints first ever envoy to Eritrea
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The federal republic of Somalia has appointed the first-ever envoy to Eritrea following years of strained relationship between Asmara and Mogadishu, which has since been rectified after several bilateral relations meetings between the two nations.
On Saturday, President Isaias Afwerki, the man who has been in charge of Eritrea since 1993, received Omar Idris, the first ambassador of Somalia to Eritrea, an indication of glowing ties between the two nations which were once ideologically miles apart.
In his address, Idris, who was formerly Somalia's envoy to Qatar, hailed the relationship between the two nations while pledging to serve meticulously. He had handed credentials to Afwerki before an appointment.
"With H.E. President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea, presenting to him my credential paper today 17/11/2023, it was an honor for me to become the first Ambassador of Somalia to Eritrea in the history of the two brotherly countries," he said on a post on X formerly known as Twitter.
In recent years, Afwerki has been working closely with Somalia, a move which has seen President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud make close to four trips to Asmara since winning the presidential seat last year. In most of his trips, Hassan Sheikh has been visiting Somali soldiers training in Eritrea.
At least 5,000 soldiers have been training in Eritrea for the last three years, with some already dispatched to the battlefield to face Al-Shabaab militants. Eritrea offered to train the soldiers as part of a stabilization effort for the Horn of Africa nation.
Initially, there were concerns over the clandestine plan to train soldiers in Eritrea but since then, the move has been embraced even by Somalia's new administration. Many other soldiers are being sent to Eritrea for further training according to the government.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud vowed to eliminate Al-Shabaab militants completely and has since asked for military assistance from neighboring countries. He had also asked for a technical pause on the withdrawal of ATMIS troops from the country.