Gulf of Aden Security Review - December 21, 2012

Yemen: Gunmen kidnap three foreigners in Sana’a; Southern leader says factions will participate in upcoming Yemeni National Dialogue; demonstrators praise President Hadi’s decision in front of his house in Sana’a; unidentified gunmen storm houses in Aden governorate; Yemeni Coast Guard forces open fire on fishermen near a port in Hadramawt governorate; gunmen steal water tanker belonging to the 33rd Brigade in al Dhaleh governorate; mortar fire kills two Yemeni soldiers in Sa’ada governorate; assailants bomb oil pipeline in Hadramawt governorate

Horn of Africa: Ras Kamboni soldiers attack illegal SNA checkpoint in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; unknown gunmen kill three in Garissa, Kenya; al Shabaab withdraws from towns in Galgudud region; Somali president meets with Kenyan president in Nairobi, Kenya; East Timor’s Finance Minister meets with Somali Finance Minister in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Unidentified gunmen kidnapped three foreigners in Sana’a on December 21. Local sources reported that the three foreigners were kidnapped on Abdul Mughani Street in central Sana’a. The nationalities of the foreigners are currently unknown.[1]
  • Southern leader Mohammad Ali Ahmed stated on December 19 that southern factions will participate in the upcoming Yemeni National Dialogue. Ahmed’s announcement came following the conclusion of the southern national conference. Ahmed added that southern factions will participate in the Yemeni National Dialogue in a way that satisfies the southerners and addresses their demands fairly. UN Special Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar, who has been working closely with southern leaders to encourage their participation in the Yemeni National Dialogue, warned on December 18 that political parties or individuals that attempt to block the political process in Yemen may face sanctions by the United Nations.[2]
  • A large number of demonstrators praised President Hadi’s decision to restructure the Yemeni military on December 20. Local sources reported that demonstrators marched to President Hadi’s residence in Sana’a, praising his decision to eliminate the Yemeni Republican Guards.[3]
  • An unidentified group of gunmen stormed several houses in al Memdara neighborhood of Aden governorate on December 21. Local sources reported that the gunmen, who suspected individuals in the neighborhood of selling alcohol, killed a woman in one of the raids.[4]
  • Yemeni Coast Guard forces opened fire on a number of fishermen near al Shihr port in Hadramawt governorate on December 21. Local sources reported that an agreement reached between fisherman and port officials allows for fisherman to legally fish only in the mornings.[5]
  • Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a water tanker belonging to the 33rd Brigade in al Dhaleh governorate on December 21. Local sources reported that the driver of the water tanker was wounded in the attack. The gunmen reportedly stole the water tanker and took it to an unidentified location.[6]
  • Two Yemeni soldiers were reportedly killed in Sa’ada governorate on December 20. Local sources reported that the two soldiers were killed by mortar fire.[7]
  • Unidentified assailants bombed an oil pipeline in Hadramawt governorate on December 20. The blast reportedly occurred in al Masilah region.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ras Kamboni soldiers attacked an illegal roadblock set up by Somali National Army (SNA) troops in Kismayo on December 20. As the Ras Kamboni troops attacked the position, SNA soldiers shot and killed two Ras Kamboni fighters. As the fighting escalated, technicals were used. An additional six people died in the skirmish, including several civilians. SNA troops had control over the fighting ground after the shooting stopped.[9]
  • Al Shabaab militants withdrew from several locations in central Somalia on December 21. The designated terrorist organization withdrew from its major stronghold of Elbur, Galgudud region, as well as El Garas, Janune, and El Lahaley, Galgudud region.[10]
  • Unknown gunmen shot two National Bank workers and one Ministry of Information worker in separate incidents in Garissa, Kenya on December 20. The two shootings occurred less than 300m apart. There was another person injured in the shooting but the casualty was brought to the hospital. The gunmen were able to flee the scene and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[11]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki in Nairobi, Kenya on December 21. The two discussed the security situation in both countries and the role of the African Union (AU) troops in Somalia. A memorandum was read to the press highlighting eleven points of mutual agreement between the two countries, most notably, increasing the mandate for AU troops in Somalia.[12]
  • The Finance Minister for East Timor, Emilia Pires, met with Somali Finance Minister Mohamud Hassan Suliman at the Aden Adde airport in Mogadishu on December 20. Minister Pires is the head of the G7 plus nations, a group which covers 18 countries and helps war-torn countries recover economically.[13]   

[1] “Breaking… Gunmen Kidnap Three Foreigners among Them a Women in Central Sana’a,” Barakish, December 21, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=12&id=41523
“Three Foreigner Tourists Kidnapped in Yemen’s Capital,” BBC News, December 21, 2012. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20817731
[2] “Leader: Southern Factions to Participate in Yemen Dialogue,” Yemen Post, December 20, 2012. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=6352&MainCat=3
[3] “Massive Demonstration Blesses Restructuring of Yemen’s Armed Forces,” Yemen Post, December 20, 2012. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=6353
[4] “Militant Group Attacks Houses in al Memdara and Kill a Woman,” Aden al Ghad, December 21, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://adenalghad.net/news/34540/
[5] “Coast Guard in al Shihr Open Fire on Fishermen near Oil Port,” Aden al Ghad, December 21, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://adenalghad.net/news/34538/
[6] “Al Dhaleh: Looting of Water Tanker for the 33rd Brigade and the Wounding of Its Driver,” Mareb Press, December 21, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://marebpress.net/news_details.php?sid=50128&lng=arabic
[7] “Two Soldiers Killed in Sa’ada,” Barakish, December 21, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=41509
[8] “Breaking… Explosion of Oil Pipeline in al Tawilah Oil Fields in Hadramawt,” Barakish, December 21, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=41507
[9] “Eight Killed in a Fight in Kismayo,” Shabelle, December 21, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/eight-killed-in-a-fight-in-kismayo/
“Somalia: 6 Dead in Kismayo over Illegal Roadblock,” Garowe Online, December 20, 2012. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_6_dead_in_Kismayo_over_illegal_roadblock.shtml
“Five Killed in Kismayo Clashes,” Bar Kulan, December 21, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/12/21/five-killed-in-kismayo-clashes/
[10] “Al Shabaab Militants Withdraw from Several Areas,” Bar Kulan, December 21, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/12/21/al-shabaab-militants-withdraw-from-several-areas/
[11] “Gunmen Kill Three in Garissa,” Daily Standard, December 21, 2012. Available: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000073366&story_title=Kenya-Gunmen-kill-three-in-Garissa
[12] “Somalia, Kenya Head of States Meet,” Bar Kulan, December 21, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/12/21/somalia-kenya-head-of-states-meet/
[13] “East Timor Finance Minister Visits Mogadishu,” Shabelle, December 21, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/east-timor-finance-minister-visits-mogadishu/