GOOBJOOG NEWS|ASMARA: President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud arrived in Asmara, Eritrea Monday for his third visit to the Red Sea nation which is gradually emerging from close to two decades of international isolation.
President Mohamud went to Eritrea in November 2022 for his second visit after an inaugural tour in July shortly after coming into office as part of his whirlwind tour of the region. The President’s visit comes about one and half months since he hosted a front-line states summit in Mogadishu which brought together the President of Kenya William Ruto and Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed.
The three leaders agreed on the reinforcement of troops from Kenya and Ethiopia outside the ATMIS framework to bolster the President’s war against Al-Shabaab. Hundreds of soldiers who were trained in Eritrea arrived back in the country following the president’s last visit to Eritrea. It is not clear how many soldiers are still left in Eritrea.
Sources say the President may be seeking extra military support from Eritrea to boost his offensive against Al-Shabaab especially as the war now moves south. The Somali National Army alongside clan militia has been battling the militant group since last July. The offensive has also started in Jubaland albeit on a low scale.
Somalia restored relations with Eritrea in 2018 following a decade of frosty ties after the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the Red Sea nation for its alleged support of Al-Shabaab. The UNSC subsequently lifted the sanctions in the same year.