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Somali trainees fought in Tigray region – UN report

NAIROBI (SD) – Somali soldiers who were airlifted to Eritrea for training had fought alongside Ethiopian forces during the conflict in Tigray region of Ethiopia, UN report argued.

The UN Rapporteur report on the human rights situation in Eritrea said 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 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 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.

The report comes barely four months after former deputy spy chief in Somalia, Abdisalam Guled claimed that several hundreds of Somali soldiers had been killed in the ongoing battle in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

 He called for an independent investigation into the alleged participation and killing of Somali trainee soldiers in the Tigray battle.   

The Somali trainees have been undergoing training in Eritrea following a clandestine transportation to the Red Sea nation by Somali government.

But Somali government denied reports that Somali soldiers trained in Eritrea took part in the fighting.

The government argued that Ethiopia did not request troops or assistance for Somalia.

It is not the first time that Somali soldiers have been accused of participating in foreign conflicts. Earlier this year, a host of middle east media outlets – mainly in UAE, Egpyt and Saudi Arabia – had published reports alleging that Somali soldiers were taking part in the fighting in Libya at the behest of Turkey and Qatar.

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