Gulf of Aden Security Review - August 2, 2010
Yemen: Saleh accused al Houthi rebels of breaking the ceasefire; al Houthi rebels release 100 more soldiers; al Beidh declares he will continue Southern struggle against Yemeni government; opposition alliance forms panel to reach out to al Houthis for dialogue committee; Interior Ministry replaces heads of security in five governorates; Yemen Supreme Security Council member blames al Houthis for continued violations of ceasefire
Horn of Africa: Three Kenyans charged in Uganda over Kampala bombings; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a supports increased AMISOM troop deployment; Hizb al Islam, al Shabaab spokesmen deny breakdown of unity talks; 925 German-financed Somali police may have defected en route to Mogadishu; TFG gains control of Yed district in Bakool region; al Shabaab releases English-language video; Somali pirates hijacked Panamanian-flagged cargo ship; Puntland parliament votes to expel three members over support of rebels; explosion in Mogadishu wounds five; al Shabaab changes names of three schools in Jowhar
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh accused the al Houthi rebels of breaking the ceasefire, “In their latest acts of aggression, the Huthi rebels attacked the MP Saghir bin Abdel Aziz in his home and army units.” Saleh added, “The state has abstained from all military action, while knowing that the rebels are pursuing other plans, as advocates of war who do not want peace.” Saleh said that he hoped that Qatar could convince the al Houthi rebels of implementing the ceasefire terms.
- Sheikh Hassan bin Abdullah al Ahmar, a pro-government tribal chief mediating between the government and the al Houthi rebels, announced that the al Houthi rebels released 100 Yemeni soldiers Sunday. He added that the rebels promised to release another 128 soldiers “tomorrow or the day after.”
- Ali Salem al Beidh, the former vice president of Yemen and a Southern Movement leader, declared from Geneva that he will continue his non-violent struggle against the Yemeni government until it grants the south self-determination.
- Yemen’s opposition alliance, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), formed a panel to inform the al Houthi rebels of the main text of the agreement signed by the General People’s Congress and the JMP. The rebels have refused to take part in the national dialogue until the terms of the February 2009 agreement are clarified.
- Minister of the Interior, Brigadier Mutahar Rashad al Masri, appointed new security chiefs in the provinces of Dhamar, Taiz, Lahij, al Jawf, and Hajjah. The changes are to address security problems within the provinces.
- An official source from Yemen’s Supreme Security Council said, “Houthi rebels and those, who support them, bear the responsibility for the non-stop violations of the six-term deal” and added that the al Houthi rebels’ actions show non-acceptance of the ceasefire.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Uganda charged three Kenyans with the murders of the 76 who died in the Kampala bombings, terrorism, and 10 counts of attempted murder. Hussein Hassan Agad, Mohamed Adan Abdow and Idris Magondu were arrested on July 12, the day after the attacks.
- Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a endorsed the African Union plan to bolster its troop deployment in Somalia by as many as 2,000 troops at a press conference Sunday in Mogadishu.
- Spokesmen from Hizb al Islam and al Shabaab rejected a report by Radio Shabelle that talks between the groups have broken down and insisted they still plan on joining forces against the TFG. A Hizb al Islam official, Sheikh Hassan Mahdi, said, “There have been meetings for the past eight days to amalgamate the two sides’ holy mujahedeen brothers into one gigantic powerful unit.” Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali Abu Mansur called the report “null and void.”
- 925 German-financed Somali police officers who received training in Ethiopia disappeared en route to Mogadishu after completing training in Ethiopia.
- TFG forces took control of the Yed district in Bakool region following a heavy firefight with al Shabaab on Saturday. The former governor of Hudur Mr. Mohamed Moalim added one soldier was killed and four others wounded in the fight. He claimed that 12 al Shabaab militants were killed.
- Al Shabaab’s new media arm, al Kata’ib News Channel, released its first video, “Mogadishu, the Crusaders’ Graveyard,” which showed footage from a battle between al Shabaab militants and TFG and AMISOM forces in Mogadishu. An English-speaker narrated the video and warned AMISOM soldiers of what their fate will be in Somalia, “And we say to the newly appointed group of African Crusaders, be prepared to be welcomed to the same fate as your fellow Ugandan Crusaders. It won’t be long before you become another statistic in this war and your bodies are left for the dogs to devour in the streets of Mogadishu.” Any text or speech in the video was translated into English as well.
- Somali pirates hijacked a Panamanian-flagged ship, the MV Suez, in the Gulf of Aden on Monday, taking its 23-man crew hostage. The ship was carrying bags of cement.
- Puntland’s parliament voted 26-21 to expel three members of parliament suspected of supporting rebel militias in the disputed Sanaag, Sool, and Ayn regions.
- An explosion in Mogadishu’s Dharkenlay district wounded two soldiers and three civilians on Saturday. The government soldiers opened fire after the explosion. No group claimed responsibility.
- Al Shabaab’s administration in Jowhar changed the names of three schools to recognize followers of the Prophet Mohammed. The head of al Shabaab’s preaching department, Sheikh Osama Adow, approved the changes.