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Somali presidential spokesman says some of the soldiers trained in Eritrea have died

MOGADISHU (SD) – Villa Somalia has for the first time confirmed that some of the Somali soldiers that went to Eritrea for training have died, confirming rumors circulating in recent days.

Presidential spokesman Abdikarin Ali Kaar told Somali Cable TV that some of the soldiers had died and that their parents were made aware of the deaths, adding that some soldiers died naturally while others died during training.

When asked about the news that the Eritrean government asked for $50 million ransom for the soldiers, he declined to comment, and suggested that Somali journalists investigate the information.

The statement from the spokesman of the Somali presidency comes at a time when the parents of the 5,000 soldiers who are undergoing training in Eritrea have staged several protests demanding the return of their children.

About 5,000 troops have been trained in Eritrea in 2020, including military, police and intelligence, and President Hassan Sheikh is expected to visit the country soon to begin plans to repatriate them.

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