GOOBJOOG NEWS|TIGRAY: Somali youth who were secretly sneaked into Eritrea by the Federal Government for military training took part in the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the UN has said affirming multiple reports of the Somalis fighting for the Ethiopian regime.
The outgoing administration of President Mohamed Farmaajo has on several occasions rebuffed reports including cries from mothers of their children participating in an endless war but mounting evidence, including the recently released UN report have put the FGS on the defence.
According to a UN Special Rapporteur report on the human rights situation in Eritrea, the Somali trainees were picked from their camps and taken to the battlefield in Tigray.
“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 Somalin trainees were also present in the historic city of Aksum, the report noted.
The UN report adds credence to various allegations that President Mohamed Farmaajo, who is a member of a Horn of Africa alliance bringing together Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s strong man Isaias Afwerki okayed the deployment of the troops to Eritrea.
The US, among other western powers, has demanded the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray but several reports indicate Afwerki’s men are still reinforcing Abiy Ahmed’s forces against the TPLF rebels.
At least 2.2 million people have been displaced from Tigray while 60,000 others have crossed into Sudan as of January this year.
Goobjoog News has interviewed parents who said their children were covertly sneaked out of the country and taken to Eritrea for military training. The Federal Government has denied claims the Somali trainees were part of the Eritrean contingent in Tigray. On January 19, Information Minister Osman Dubbe went on live TV to dismiss the deployment of Somalis in Tigray as ‘rumor and it’s nonsense’.
Former National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) Abdisalan Yusuf Guled told journalists in January at least 370 Somali trainees were killed in the Tigray conflict, a charge the Federal Government vehemently denied.
Information about the secret training of Somali youth in Eritrea emerged in 2019 as families claimed their teenage sons had suddenly disappeared from their homes. According to mothers interviewed by Goobjoog News, they were told by government officials the youth were taken to Qatar for the construction of the Olympics stadia there.