Villa Somalia says Somali youth taken for training in Eritrea are dead.
Villa Somalia says that some of the five thousand Somali youths taken for training in Eritrea are dead. Speaking to a local TV Station in Mogadishu, Somalia's National Presidential Palace Spokesman Abdikarin Kaar, confirmed that the youth have perished in the course of training. He added that many of them passed away due to natural causes and others died while in the training. However, Kaar did not specify the number of the youth who died in the training but said that their parents have been informed about the deaths. The former administration of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo had sent the youth for training to Eritrea. The first batch of the youth were flown from Mogadishu to Eritrea on August 19, 2019 while the second group was dispatched on October 20, 2019. Last year, a report from the UN special rapporteur indicated that the Somali Youth fought along with Ethiopian soldiers in the Tigray war though Somali government had denied the report and termed it baseless and fabricated. During the hand over of power to the new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, former President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo reignited the issue and for the first time publicly spoke about the fate of the soldiers. Farmaajo while submitting the file to his successor said that the youth are ready for return and called on Mohamud to bring back the soldiers as soon as possible so that they can be used in beefing up the security of the country.