Gulf of Aden Security Review - August 8, 2012

Yemen: Drone strike kills three militants in Hadramawt; rebellion in the 2nd Mountain Infantry Brigade in Lawder; State Department announces 2012 aid package to Yemen; Swiss hostage appears in video appeal; explosives cache discovered in Sana’a; landmine kills one in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Uganda deploys air force contingent to assist AMISOM forces in Somalia; Technical Select Committee has received the names of 70 percent of Somalia’s 275-member parliament; AMISOM appeals for additional international aid due to financial constraints

Yemen Security Brief

  • A suspected U.S. drone strike reportedly killed three members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) travelling in a vehicle in the Zoukaika area of al Qatan district in Hadramawt governorate on August 7.[1]
  • Local sources in Lawder have reported that soldiers from the 2nd Mountain Infantry Brigade have withdrawn from their positions in protest of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s decree on August 6. Local resistance committees stepped in to protect the abandoned weapons, resulting in light clashes between the tribesmen and the soldiers.[2]
  • The State Department announced the allocation of $337 million in aid to Yemen over the 2012 fiscal year, up from 2011’s $147 million assistance package on August 7. The aid will include $178 million in civilian assistance, including humanitarian aid and support for the transition and development of the Yemeni government, and $159 million in security assistance provided by the State Department and the Department of Defense. In addition, the European Commission decided to grant an additional €18 million in government aid to Yemen.[3]
  • Sylvia Abrahat, a Swiss woman abducted in al Hudaydah this March appealed for help in a video released by her abductors, who are demanding that their fellow tribesmen be released in exchange for the woman’s freedom. This is the third video appeal from Abrahat.[4]
  • The Yemeni Defense Ministry announced on August 8 that police had discovered a cache of explosives in Sana’a last week. The find included 20 explosives and 20 suicide belts in a shop in Qadasiyya neighborhood.[5]
  • A landmine explosion killed a woman near the Air Defense base in the Sabir district of Taiz governorate on the morning of August 7.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ugandan Lt. Moses Omayo, the spokesman for the Ugandan Air Force, stated that an air force contingent will be deployed to Somalia to assist in the fight against al Shabaab on August 6. Omayo said, “We have sent helicopters which will provide air cover for combat troops, escort convoys, conduct rescue missions and airdrop forces.” Omayo added that air support would only be used in areas where African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces are deployed.[7]
  • Somalia’s Technical Select Committee, tasked with selecting members of parliament, said that they have received 70 percent of the names required for the 275-member parliament. The head of the Technical Select Committee, Abdullahi Ismaan Hireey, said that the committee is expected to conclude the process soon. Hireey added that anyone on the list with a criminal record will be removed.[8]
  • African Union’s Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha said that AMISOM is facing financial constraints and appealed for additional international financial aid. Mwencha reported that AMISOM requires roughly $45 million U.S. per month at an African Leadership Conference in Mombasa, Kenya on August 7.[9]   


[1] Ahmed Al-Haj, “Yemen: US drone strikes kill 10 al-Qaida militants,” Associated Press, August 7, 2012. Available: http://www.boston.com/news/world/middle-east/2012/08/07/yemen-drone-strikes-kill-qaida-militants/qq7oqLGifkTtAHXuqRd8VM/story.html
Mohammed al-Kibsi, “Yemen forces and drones kill 13 Qaeda suspects,” Yemen Observer, August 8, 2012. Available: http://www.yobserver.com/local-news/10022211.html
[2] “Tension in Lawder, Abyan from the Second Brigade objecting to the decrees of President Hadi,” al Masdar Online, August 8, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.net/index.php?page=news&article-section=1&news_id=34940
[3] “U.S. Government Assistance to Yemen,” U.S. Department of State, August 7, 2012. Available: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/08/196136.htm
“EC gives Yemen additional funding of  €18 mln,” Saba, August 8, 2012. Available: €18 mln http://www.sabanews.net/en/news277326.htm
[4] “Swiss Woman in Yemen Appeals to Her Government,” Yemen Post, August 7, 2012. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=5834
[5] “Official announces police’s discovery of 20 suicide belts in Sana’a,” al Masdar Online, August 8, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.net/index.php?page=news&article-section=1&news_id=34927
[6]Aziz al Salwi, “Anger in Sabi after a woman’s death in a landmine explosion near the al Arous camp in Taiz,” al Tagheer, August 7, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.al-tagheer.com/news47326.html
[7] Elias Biryabarema, “Uganda Deploys Air Force to Pursue Militants in Somalia,” Reuters, August 7, 2012. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/07/us-somalia-conflict-uganda-idUSBRE8760RF20120807
Gabe Joselow, “Kenya PM Says Troops Will Take Kismayo by August,” Voice of America, June 12, 2012. Available: http://www.voanews.com/content/kenya-prime-minister-says-troops-will-take-kismayo-by-august/1206288.html
[8] “Technical Select Committee Receives Names of over 70% Members,” Radio Risaala, August 7, 2012. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/august-8-2012-morning-headlines/
[9] Joy Nabukewa and Chris Mgidu, “African Union Says AMISOM Faces Financial Constraints,” Xinhua, August 7, 2012. Available: http://big5.xinhuanet.com/gate/big5/news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/07/c_131768203.htm