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On International Women’s Day … Somali mothers want to know the whereabouts of their children or even see their body bags

Somalia | Times Of Sudan

On January 20, 2021, Somali mothers began gathering in the streets of Mogadishu and soon reports began pouring in about similar protests in other cities and towns across Somalia.

The spark was an admission by Abdul Salam Yusuf Guled, former deputy chief of the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency, on January 18, that (370) Somali soldiers were killed in the fighting in the Ethiopian Tigray region.

The head of the Somali Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee at that time asked Somali President Farmajo to investigate the matter and clarify the whereabouts of the Somali forces sent to Eritrea for training.

On the other hand, the Farmajo government and the Ethiopian government headed by Abi Ahmed denied the presence of Somali forces in Tigray.

The Somali Minister of Information, Osman Abubakar Dob, appeared on state television and said that there were no Somali forces involved in Tigray and indicated that the opponents of Farmajo had fabricated the accusations. The Somali government wrote on Twitter that it had “strongly denied false reports” about the killing of Somali recruits in Ethiopia.

But body bags and eyewitness accounts tell a different story. The carnage in Tigray is massive. At the same time, Farmajo‚Äôs government was unable to provide an insight into the whereabouts of Somali recruits who were transferred abroad. It shouldn’t be difficult to put a soldier on the phone unless, of course, that soldier dies.

Somali parliamentarians say in their private sessions that Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki are seeking to keep Farmajo in power, even at the expense of federalism or Somali democracy.

The leadership of Somalia seeks a source of strength, not a democracy.

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