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MPs seek debate on ‘deployment’ of Eritrean and Ethiopian forces

A section of MPs have petitioned the Speaker to open debate seeking to establish whether Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers have been deployed in the country following recent talks between President Mohamed Farmaajo and leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

“The debate will question the presence or deployment of additional troops from Eritrea and Ethiopia as part of agreement for a union of the three countries,” the petition signed by ten MPs read in part.

In addition, the MPs want parliament to interrogate the political agenda of the upcoming tripartite conference among the three Horn of Africa countries while raising fingers on the absence of Djibouti and the UN in the planned meeting.

President Farmaajo said during his return from Ethiopia last month that another round of meetings with his Eritrean and Djiboutian counterparts would be held in Mogadishu though he did not cite any timelines.

During the meeting in Ethiopia’s northern region of Bahr Dar November, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hinted at a possible political union of the three countries in the future in addition to talks of economic integration. There were unverified reports also that Eritrea could be deploying its troops to Somalia following the lifting of sanctions against the Red Sea nation by the UN Security Council last month.

The lawmakers are also seeking to open debate on the number of agreements which President Farmaajo has signed with foreign countries since he came to office February 2017.