June 08, 2021
File – Newly graduated Somali soldiers display their skills at the graduation ceremony after receiving training period from Turkish Military Training Academy, Somali Turkish Task Force Command, in Mogadishu, Somalia on November 28, 2019. Newly graduate 363 Somali soldiers took their diplomas. (Photo by Sadak Mohamed/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
By Hiran Online
ASMARA – A UN report has said Somalis who were undergoing military training in Eritrea took part in the ongoing conflict in Tigray region in Ethiopia confirming similar claims by parents of the trainees and politicians in Somalia.
The UN Rapporteur report on the human rights situation in Eitrea said there was credible evidence that trainees were transported to Ethiopia as part of Eritrean forces who were reinforcing Ethiopian federal and state forces.
“In addition to reports of the involvement of Eritrean troops in the Tigray conflict, the Special Rapporteur also received information and reports that Somali soldiers were moved from military training camps in Eritrea to the front line in Tigray, where they accompanied Eritrean troops as they crossed the Ethiopian border,” the report read in part.
The report which was distributed to the UN General Assembly on May 12 added that ‘Somali fighters were present around Aksum.’ Somali government has however denied reports of its citizen fighting in Tigray.
However the Lower House Foreign Relations Committee demanded in January that President Mohamed Farmaajo comes clean on the matter and that a fact finding team be dispatched to Eritrea to establish the veracity of the reports. There has since been no public mention by the committee on the fate of its demands.
Former intelligence deputy director general Abdisalam Guled said in a media interview in January that ‘hundreds’ of Somalis had been killed in Tigray.
Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki who has since become an ally of Farmaajo and Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed deployed troops to Ethiopia in support of federal forces late last year.
“The conflict in Tigray has deepened ethnic tensions and created an immense humanitarian crisis, with 4.5 million people – most of Tigray’s population – in urgent need of assistance, the rapporteur added.