Asmara(Mogadishu24)-The President of the Federal Government of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and his Eritrean counterpart, Isaias Afwerki, visited Eritrean Military Training camps on Monday, where Somali Maritime and Air forces have been undergoing training.

The President embarked on an official trip to Eritrea to strengthen the relationship between the two countries and enhance cooperation in the security and defense sectors.

“The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and the President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, visited the training camps for Somali Maritime and Air Forces in Eritrea today,” the statement from Villa Somalia reads. 

The statement added that these soldiers will be integrated into the Somali security forces involved in the ongoing battle to liberate Al-Shabaab from the country.

The President listened to reports from the army officers and praised the Eritrea for its support during the training of Somali soldiers. He also instructed them to be ready and prepared to join the forces fighting against Al-Shabaab.

The Eritrean government is currently providing training to a large number of Somali troops. Some of these trained troops have returned to Somalia following the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

The President’s trip to Eritrea came after alarms were raised by parents of thousands of Somali youths who were sent for training in Eritrea and have not yet returned.

The parents have called on and requested the President to facilitate the return of their children to Somalia.

“Our sons have been in Eritrea for the past three to four years. Since then, we have never communicated with them. Hundreds have been reported missing, while several deaths have been reported,” said a mother who preferred anonymity for security reasons.

“The leaders have been advocating the return of our children during the campaign but never spoke of it after elections. We urge the President to facilitate the return of our children,” she added.

For two months, president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been stationed in Dhusamareb, the administrative capital of Galmudug State, to intensify operations against the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization.

Al-Shabaab militants have conducted a surge of terror attacks on military bases and crowded areas, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Somali security forces and civilians.

The President’s visit to Eritrean camps, where Somali soldiers are trained, is seen as a measure to expedite the fight against Al-Shabaab and contribute to the government’s efforts to liberate the remaining areas under the control of the terrorist group.

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