Eritrea’s leader rolls a red carpet for visiting Somali president


ASMARA [SMN] – Somali President Hassan Sheikh arrived in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea on Monday afternoon, with this visit being the 3rd since July 2022.


Isaias Afwerki welcomed Hassan Sheikh at the Asmara airport, and they are expected to hold talks about Somali soldiers training in Eritrea and the ties between the two countries.

When Hassan Shekh was re-elected as President of Somalia in May 2022, he went to Asmara a month later and returned in November, meeting with the soldiers in training.

There are thousands of soldiers in Eritrea who are undergoing various training, and the Somali government wants to bring them back to participate in the war against Al-Shabaab.

The soldiers were secretly sent to Eritrea by the former government between 2019-2020, and their absence caused street protests by parents and political debate during critical electioneering period.

President Hassan Sheikh said in his New Year 2023 speech that a final military operation will soon begin to end the presence of Al-Shabaab, and troops from Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti will participate, which is not part of the ATMIS force.

Since August 2022, Somali army captured towns previously controlled by militant group al-Shabab in the central Galmudug State and HirShabelle during deadly battles.


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