Parliament tasks Farmajo to explain whereabouts of SNA soldiers trained in Eritrea
MOGADISHU, Somalia | President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has yet again been tasked to explain the whereabouts of thousands of the Somali National Army [SNA] soldiers who had gone for training in Eritrea, but whose families say that they cannot be located to date, despite efforts to trace them in the last couple of months.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the federal parliament on Wednesday demanded to know the whereabouts of these soldiers and whether they are alive or not. Whichever the case, the committee said, the government should explain to the public to end the anxiety that has subjected their families into an unnecessary panic.
Eritrea, through cooperation with Somalia, had taken in several soldiers for advanced training so that they can equip themselves with relevant skills in the fight against Al-Shabaab. Previously, Eritrea was one of the countries accused of sponsoring Al-Shabaab militants.
Although the exact number cannot be ascertained, the committee wants the government also to publish their names besides facilitating their trip back to Mogadishu if at all they happen to be alive. The government has never stated the safety and whereabouts of the soldiers.
The decision by the committee was taken after reports surfaced online claiming that at least 300 Somali soldiers had been killed in the Tigray war which saw Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] battle with Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF] after the latter attacked Northern Command.
Although the war has since come to an end, there are claims that the Somali troops may have died in the war. But initial reports indicated that those who were killed had traveled from Mogadishu, further raising doubts about the whereabouts of those who have been training in Asmara.
Information Minister Osman Abukar Dubbe had however dismissed reports that Somalia sent troops to Ethiopia, arguing that Addis Ababa had not asked for help. Ethiopia is one of the AMISOM troops contributing nations and has over 4,000 soldiers in Somalia.