Qatar under pressure over Somali recruits went missing in Eritrea

The youths estimated between 5,000-7,000 were recruited from different parts of Somalia and sent to Eritrea, one of the world’s most secretive countries.

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Qatar under pressure over Somali recruits went missing in Eritrea

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The leader of the opposition Wadajir political party Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame has called on Qatar to come to clear its position on missing Somali military recruit sent secretly to Eritrea for training between 2019 and 2020.

The youths estimated between 5,000 and 7,000 have been recruited from several regions in the south and central Somalia after being lured with work as security guards at the 2022 World Cup in Doha.

"It was treasonous to deceive Somali youths by telling them they would be taken to Qatar to work as security guards during the World Cup. The Qatari Government has to clarify its position, otherwise, it will bear part of the responsibility for missing youths," Warsame said.

The UN human rights council has released last week a report confirming that the missing Somali soldiers have involved in the Tigray war after they were moved from their military training camps in Eritrea, where they have been undergoing two-year special training.

The soldiers aged between 25-30 are said to have fought along with Ethiopian and Eritrean forces during the six-month battle against the TPLF late last year in which hundreds of them have lost their lives while taking part in a foreign war.

Qatar which was accused of having a role in the recruitment and training of the missing soldiers last January called for an immediate investigation by relevant authorities from the concerned countries into the matter.

“The State of Qatar condemns any abusive and duplicitous recruitment of any individual who was falsely told they were moving to Qatar for employment opportunities. The State of Qatar stands against such practices and urges all governments to investigate such abuses that make up human trafficking,” read the statement from Qatar's foreign affairs ministry.

Since early this year, there have been frequent protests in Somalia, mainly in Mogadishu and Galkayo by hundreds of parents seeking answers from the Somali government about the whereabouts of their sons tricked into fighting in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. 

The spy head Fahad Yasin and outgoing president Farmajo are being accused of responsibility for the sending of the trainees to Eritrea, one of the world’s most secretive countries.


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