Outgoing Somali president has for the first time publicly spoken about the presence of Somali troops in Eritrea.

While handing over office to the incoming president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo said he had officially given the files concerning the recruits to his successor President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Early last year reports emerged that thousands of soldiers were being trained in Eritrea – claims that were denied by the government despite protests in Mogadishu.

But in a twist of events, a year later the former president has confirmed their presence in Eritrea.

He said the 5,000 troops had completed their military training last year, but their return was delayed due to the election period.

There were accusations that the recruits were involved in the civil war in northern Ethiopia, where the federal government is fighting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

A UN report submitted to General Assembly in 2021 said Somali soldiers were fighting alongside Eritrean troops who were backing the federal government, allegations that the Somali government denied