Policy

Trafficking weapons and training soldiers…Eritrea backs Farmaajo at the expense of the Somali people


Somalis have been waiting for months for the elections that were expected to hold at the end of last year, however, political differences have pushed to an indefinite postponement, while presidential elections are supposed to hold on February 8.

Experts stated that international and regional interventions would be strongly present on the Somali electoral scene, because of the multiple agendas of the forces involved in the country that aim to maximize their strategic interests there, so the external factor appears as a strong influence on these elections. These forces seek to restore their allies of power in Somalia.

Because the opposition in Somalia that is represented in some regional states and political parties (more than 63 parties), and is led by important former politicians, besides to independents who have acceptable popular credit, it plays an effective role in the political scene and have a remarkable resonance in the national public opinion, and which takes official and popular movements at home and outside. It also has a prominent presence in the local media scene and the media social.

Opposition forces are seeking to form alliances against the ruling regime, such as the Somali Parties Forum, as part of their efforts to unify their efforts to confront President Muhammad Abdullah Farmaajo in the next elections, although that the government face limitations in their activities.

So here appears the role of some outside forces, like Eritrea that has been working to train Somali soldiers in secret since last year, and some Somali families have indicated in recent months via the local media that there were no news from their children, who according to the federal government were sent to the State of Qatar for military training. However, the families were later informed that they had been sent to Eritrea, whose president, Isaias Afwerki, has cease relations with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.

The forces that the Somali government secretly sent to Eritrea or Qatar have induced several doubts, and some politicians and members of the Somali parliament have expressed worry about their use for illegal purposes, particularly as their return coincided with the proximity of Somali federal elections, as they could be focused against opposition forces.

In this context, political researcher Tony Duheaume wrote on his Twitter account that Somalis could might well have to postpone elections due to simulated chaos brought into play by Farmajo militias funded by Doha, the Qatari regime has been and is still supporting the Somali president through Eritrea with Eritrea training Farmajo militias with Iranian influence.

Eritrea’s role did not stop there, but it became fertile ground for financing and trafficking weapons to Farmaajo, and maybe the most famous case was the confiscation of a shipment containing at less 25,000 Turkish pistols in 2017 in the port of Kismayo in Somalia. Moreover, a Sudanese citizen bought these pistols for his country, and he sent them to Asmara in Eritrea and then re-imported them by land to Sudan, where it was easier to insert them in this way.  Indeed, the vessel that was on board the cargo docked at a port in Eritrea, but the weapons curiously appeared in Somalia, and many more cases were exposed.

Followers say that Eritrea’s reconciliation with Somalia does not mean it comes at the expense of the blood of Somalis, and that Eritrea has become a threat to the Somali people via its support for Farmaajo, appealing the opposition, foreign embassies and human rights organizations to stop these interventions

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