Somali president protests report by Canadian newspaper over alleged deployment of soldiers in Tigray
Somalia has protested what it termed as ‘unsubstantiated’reporting by a Canadian publication claiming that Somali troops were deployed in Ethiopia’s Tigray region for the ongoing conflirct there.
In a letter addressed to the Globe and Mail, Villa Somalia said the report was ‘unsubstantiated and false and damaging’ to the Somali National Army noting there was no deployment of Somali troops in the northern Ethiopian region.
‘Beyond what the writer claims to be unverified testimonies of supposed victims, there is no credible evidence of Somali soldier’s involvement in the conflict in Ethiopia,” Villa Somalia said.
In the article on January 20, Globe and Mail reported that it obtained ‘eyewitness accounts of massacres by Somali troops embedded with Eritrean forces in Tigray in the early months of the war.’
“The survivors said the Somali troops were wearing Eritrean military uniforms, but they were clearly identifiable as Somali because of their language and their physical appearance,” Mail and Globe reported. “Unlike the Eritreans, they could not speak any Tigrinya, the language spoken in Tigray and much of Eritrea. The witnesses said they also heard the Eritrean troops referring to them as Somalis.”
The UN Human Rights rapporteur also said ina report last year that some Somali soldiers were spotted in the historic city of Aksum in Tigray region.
President Mohamed Farmaajo’s administration vehemently fought claims that Somalis who were clandestinely undergoing military training in Eritrea were deployed in the Tigray region.
In the complaint to the Canadian publication, Villa Somalia said it will pursue legal action should the newspaper not retract the report.