The first group of Eritrean-trained recruits arrived at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International airport on Wednesday, days after President Mohamud said the soldiers would begin returning home.

The number of recruits repatriated on Wednesday is still unknown.

A government statement is expected in the coming hours.

Following his electoral defeat in May, former President Farmajo publicly confirmed for the first time that his government had sent 5,000 recruits to train in Eritrea.

President Mohamud promised the Somali recruits they would soon be repatriated back to Somalia when he visited them in Asmara in July. Mohamud said the soldiers would put their new skills to the test in the war against Al Shabaab

A UN report last year alleged that  Somali soldiers fought alongside Eritrean troops in Tigray; however, the Somali government denied that its forces were deployed in active combat.

President Mohamud said the subsequent groups of recruits will be repatriated in exercises is expected to last until January 2023.