TORONTO (SD) – New evidence suggests that Somali forces have carried out a massacre in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, signaling a new military alliance in the Horn of Africa, reports The Globe and Mail of Canada.
“New revelations about atrocities by Somali soldiers in Ethiopia’s Tigray war are casting a spotlight on an emerging military alliance that has reshaped the Horn of Africa, weakening Western influence in a strategically important region.’’ reports The Globe and Mail.
The newspaper reported it had received evidence from witnesses that Somali forces, along with Eritreans, had carried out massacres in the region in the early months of the conflict, which began in November 2020.
“The Globe and Mail has obtained eyewitness accounts of massacres by Somali troops embedded with Eritrean forces in Tigray in the early months of the war. The new evidence raises disturbing questions about a covert military alliance between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia that has inflicted death and destruction on the rebellious Tigray region in northern Ethiopia.” The Globe and Mail reported.
The reported evidence raises questions about the military alliance between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, which has led to widespread destruction and deaths in the northern region of Tigray.
“Up to 10,000 Somali troops were deployed in Tigray, according to current and former Ethiopian officials who spoke to The Globe. The Globe is not identifying the individuals because they face the threat of reprisals for their comments.” the report said.
The three governments formally denied the existence of such an alliance, with Somalia denying that their troops trained in Eritrea have been deployed in the Tigray region to fight.
An investigation by The Globe and Mail has revealed for the first time the full details of atrocities committed by Somali soldiers alongside allied with Eritreans who went to the region.
“Gebretsadik, a 52-year-old farmer from the village of Zebangedena in northwestern Tigray, said the dusty roads of his village were strewn with the bodies of decapitated clergymen in December, 2020, a few weeks after the beginning of the war.” Adding Somali soldiers, working alongside Eritrean forces who had captured the village, had targeted churches and killed the clergymen” he said.
The Somali National Army Soldiers wore the Eritrean military uniforms, and were stationed in Tigray between December, 2020 and late February, 2021.
“They undoubtedly have participated in the war,” said Gebremeskel Kassa, who was chief of staff in the interim administration in Tigray that the Ethiopian government appointed after seizing control of the region in the early months of the war. He later fled abroad, fearing for his safety when Ethiopian officials criticized him for Tigrayan military gains in the region.” The Globe and Mail reported.
The tripartite military agreement was reached in 2018, but the Somali army was withdrawn from Tigray following protests by Somali parents in Mogadishu, the report said.
Somali forces training in Eritrea have not yet been fully accounted for, with Some reported to have returned to Mogadishu.
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