Somaliland sends large contingent of army recruits to Ethiopia for training

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Somaliland government sent the largest number of army recruits to Ethiopia on Thursday for training to strengthen its armed forces.

Somaliland army chief Nuh Isma’il Tani saw off the recruits in the border town of Wajale.

A video posted on social media shows buses carrying the soldiers on their way to Ethiopia, although Somaliland authorities did not mention the official number of soldiers sent.

The army chiefs of landlocked Ethiopia and the self-declared Republic of Somaliland discussed military cooperation in Addis Ababa in January following Somaliland President Muse Bihi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 1, granting Ethiopia commercial and military access to the sea.

Somaliland has said that in exchange, Ethiopia would agree to recognize it as independent at some point in the future.

Somalia views the MoU as an assault on its territorial integrity. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has asked people to prepare for the country’s defence. Somalia’s allies, including Egypt, Djibouti, Eritrea, Turkey, the UN, the EU, and the Arab League, have supported Somalia’s territorial and political integrity.