Somali president promises return of soldiers sent to Eritrea

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud has announced that soldiers sent to train in Eritrea will return home, after more than a year of controversy over their possible deployment in secret to the war-torn Ethiopian region of Tigray.
The announcement was made by the new head of state, elected on 15 May, during a meeting with relatives of soldiers on Wednesday evening, the day after he returned from an official visit to Eritrea. During this visit, he went to training camps hosting Somali troops.
“I went there (to Eritrea) and as you can see from the pictures, I saw the boys. I am a parent, a father with children and a grandfather, so I know the pain of parents when they don’t hear from their child,” Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud said.
He said his government was working on the safe return of these soldiers, but did not give details on the number or the timetable. He also did not mention their possible involvement in the war in Ethiopia
The issue of Somali soldiers in Eritrea was a source of controversy and tension during the term of his predecessor, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Farmajo.
On several occasions in 2021, families of soldiers demonstrated to demand information on the fate of their military sons of whom they had no news.
There were rumors that hundreds of them had died in the Tigray region, where they had been secretly deployed alongside Eritrean forces supporting the Ethiopian federal army in its fight against the Tigrayan rebels since November 2020.