Somalia appoints team to investigate complaints over soldiers training in Eritrea
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia has yielded to pressure over clandestine training of young soldiers in Eritrea, following protests by their parents and opposition figures, who accuse the government of failing to release information over their progress.
There are close to 5,000 soldiers training in Eritrea but the government has failed to release exact reports, further leading to concerns from their families and members of the opposition. The troops went to Eritrea in 2019 according to reports from insiders.
In a press release, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble appointed a commission of inquiry which will now probe the matter before making their findings public. The team will now get the exact situation in Eritrea besides gathering complaints from the parents.
Among those in the commission are the Ministers of Defense, Interior, Army Chief, and Somali Ambassador to Ethiopia. They will have some time before publishing their findings on the situation of the troops in Eritrea where it's also being alleged that they were secretly smuggled the Tigray for the ongoing war.
A report published by the UN Special Rapporteur to Eritrea revealed that the Somali troops in Eritrea crossed over the border the Ethiopia where they engaged in mass murder against the Tigrayan people. Ethiopia National Defense Forces [ENDF] got reinforcement from Eritrean troops in the war against Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF] fighters.
Even though the rapporteur didn't publish specific evidence, however, he did confirm that indeed the Somali troops were sighted in Axum, a holy city in northern Ethiopia. They were in the company of Eritrea troops, the report further revealed.
Investigations obtained by Garowe Online have since established that the deployment of the troops to Eritrea for training was done by only four senior individuals including Farmajo and the National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA] boss Fahad Yasin.
News about their presence in Eritrea was first published in February by the Garowe Online but the government denied it. However, a protest waged by the parents triggered a response from the government, but it strongly denied their presence in the Tigray region.
Tigray region continues to witness humanitarian crises attracting international condemnation. The US and UK have already slapped a number of individuals from Eritrea and Ethiopia with sanctions but Ethiopia still insists it's never blocked humanitarian assistance to the region.
In a pre-recorded video message, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen said Ethiopia is disappointed by the campaign that is being waged against its handling of the situation in the Tigray region.
He said “what Ethiopia needs now is concrete support and, a mission to undermine the unity, territorial integrity and the cohesion of the Ethiopian state, under the guise of humanitarian concern is not acceptable”
Ethiopia stands ready to work positively and constructively with all its partners to scale up humanitarian assistance, rebuild social cohesion, and restore basic services in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Therefore, what the country needs at this critical moment is the support of friends and partners and not uncalled for the pressure that would complicate the situation further”, he noted.
Demeke explained “It is extremely regrettable to see that some within the international community have embarked on a mission to undermine the unity, territorial integrity and the cohesion of the Ethiopian state, under the guise of humanitarian concern. We urge these individuals and partners to desist from these unhelpful activities”
Deputy Prime Minister added that accusations labeled against Ethiopia of using hunger as a weapon of war on its own citizens, is an egregious falsehood, and in no way calculated to help foster peace, harmony, and stability.