Somali president visits air force cadets training in Eritrea

The troops have been undergoing training in Eritrea for the past three years.

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Somali president visits air force cadets training in Eritrea

ASMARA, Eritrea - Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud paid a visit to troops at airforce training camp in Eritrea on Friday.

Accompanied by his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki, President Hassan Sheikh hand-shaked and chatted with the cadets who completed their training under hard living conditions.

In a statement, Villa Somalia said the president was briefed on the soldiers' needs and the plight they are facing since Eritrea is an isolated country with economic challenges.

Hassan Sheikh told the troops that the government of Somalia is working on their return to the country to contribute to the ongoing fight against Al-Shabaab.

It's the second time Somali president to visit the troops in Eritrea since July. There are reports that Somali government asked UAE to cover the transportation expenses of the redeployment of the soldiers.

Qatar has previously pledged to pay the training and living costs of the Somali soldiers who were recruited and sent secretly by Fahad Yasin, ex-Al Jazeera Arabic journalist turned a powerful figure in Farmajo's regime between 2017 and 2022.

Doha changed it's mind and rejected to deliver on it's promises of the funding of Somali troops' training mission.

The soldiers estimated 5,000 were lured on jobs in Qatar but ended up in Eritrea military training camps. They have been missing for two years before the news of their participation in Ethiopia's Tigray conflict surfaced in January last year.

Since then, the parents of the missing boys had been staging street protests calling for their safe return. Some soldiers died during the training and several for natural causes, according to Villa Somalia.


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