Gulf of Aden Security Review - February 20, 2013

Yemen: Southern members of the Technical Committee for the National Dialogue withdraw from February 20 meeting; Yemeni security forces arrest Southern Movement leader in Aden; Yemeni Army fires on Southern Movement demonstrators in Aden; Yemeni Army forces fire on procession of Southern Movement supporters at checkpoint north of Aden; gunmen clash in Taiz city; gunmen blow up oil pipeline in Sirwah, Ma’rib governorate; popular committee members demonstrate in Ataq, Shabwah governorate; al Houthi militants beat up traffic police officer in Sa’ada governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali and AMISOM troops take Jowhar airfield, Middle Shabelle; Somali forces clash with al Shabaab fighters outside Janale, Lower Shabelle region; Somaliland police arrest several suspected terrorists in Las Anod, Sool region; Somali security officials vow a safer Hiraan region and to eradicate al Shabaab from Gedo and Jubba regions; Somali government to give $50,000 for information on killers of Somali journalists; an AMISOM official asks for Iranian support to defeat al Shabaab; UN peacekeeping spokesman says they have contingency plan for operations in Somalia; Somali court of appeals hears case against alleged rape victim and the journalist who interviewed her; Djiboutian authorities capture 62 illegal migrants bound for Yemen

Yemen Security Brief

  • Southern members of the Technical Committee for the National Dialogue withdrew from the committee meeting on February 20, in protest of a reported arrest campaign against Southern Movement leadership in Aden.[1]
  • Yemeni security forces arrested Southern Movement leader Qassem Asker Jubran at his home in Aden on February 20.[2]
  • Yemeni Army forces fired on Southern Movement demonstrators in Crater, Aden on February 20. Casualty statistics have not yet been reported.[3]
  • Yemeni Army forces at the Dar Saad checkpoint north of Aden opened fire on a procession of reported Southern Movement supporters transiting from the Radfan and Yafa’a districts in Lahij governorate and al Dhaleh governorate to Aden on February 20. One was reported killed and three wounded in the incident.[4]
  • Clashes broke out in a market in Taiz city on February 19, leaving one dead and four wounded.[5]
  • Gunmen reported to belong to the al Hazal tribe blew up the Ma’rib oil pipeline in Anshar, Sirwah district, Ma’rib governorate on February 20.[6]
  • Popular committee members in Ataq, Shabwah governorate demonstrated in front of the governorate building on February 20, demanding the reappointment of Sheikh Turki Mohammad al Khalifi to the governorate’s governing committee, and criticizing the governorate over payroll issues.[7]
  • Al Houthi militants reportedly beat up a traffic police officer in Sa’ada governorate on February 19. Members of the al Oud tribe, to which the officer belonged, met with al Houthi representatives on February 19, asking them to deliver the perpetrators of the attack to the judiciary for prosecution.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali and AMISOM troops took the Jowhar airfield, 10 miles north of the city in Middle Shabelle, on February 18. Al Shabaab fighters showed little resistance as they retreated from the area. No Somali or AMISOM troops were injured in the capture.[9]
  • Somali forces clashed with al Shabaab militants outside of Janale, Lower Shabelle region on February 19. Three al Shabaab fighters were killed during the skirmish. Somali and AMISOM troops gained control over the area and carried out security operations in the town following the fighting.[10]
  • Somaliland police arrested several suspected terrorists on February 17 in Las Anod, Sool region. The son of Somaliland’s opposition party chairman, and a woman he was traveling with, were arrested after fleeing Hargeisa, Wooqooyi Galbeed region. Two men linked to the February 15 killing of a prominent Islamist scholar in Garowe were also apprehended by Somaliland police after coordinated efforts with Puntland authorities.[11]
  • Somali security officials said their troops will liberate areas of the Gedo and Jubba regions still under al Shabaab control. Officials in Hiraan region also said that they are working on a plan to increase security in the region.[12]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon offered $50,000 for information leading to an arrest of those responsible for murdering Somali journalists.[13]
  • An AMISOM spokesperson praised Iranian humanitarian support to Somalia and asked Iran for help in defeating al Shabaab.[14]
  • A United Nations peacekeeping spokesman announced the international body has “increased contingency planning” for future peacekeeping needs in Somalia, Mali and Syria.[15]
  • A Somali court of appeals heard the case of an alleged rape victim, and a journalist who interviewed her, on February 20. The two are appealing a recent conviction in which they both received one year in jail.[16]
  • The Djiboutian Coast Guard captured 62 illegal migrants off the coast of Gomoria on February 17. The illegal migrants were bound for Yemen.[17]       

[1] “Collective Withdrawal of Southerners From Dialogue Committee Meeting Protesting What’s Happening in Aden,” Barakish Net, February 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=45192
[2] “Security Forces Arrest Leader in the Southern Movement Qassem Asker Jubran,” Barakish Net, February 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=15&id=45178
[3] “Breaking: Army Armored Vehicles Fire Weapons Upon Southern Movement March in Crater,” Aden Life, February 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://adenlife.net/news/18622/
[4] “Breaking: One Dead and Three Southern Supporters Wounded by Soldiers at Dar Sa’ad Checkpoint in Aden,” Mukalla Star, February 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://mukallastar.com/news/?p=69388
[5] “One Killed and Four Wounded in Armed Clashes in Taiz,” al Masdar Online, February 19, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/41852
[6] “Breaking: Oil Pipeline Explosion in Anshar, Ma’rib,” Barakish Net, February 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=12&id=45172
[7] “Dozens of Popular Committee Members Protest in Shabwah,” Akhbar Alyom, February 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://akhbaralyom.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=64817
[8] “Incident Reveals a State Co-Opted by Sa’ada Armed Group, al Houthi Militias Attack Traffic Police and Tear His Uniform and His Tribesmen Threaten to Respond,” Akhbar al Yom, February 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://akhbaralyom.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=64832
[9] “AU Forces Capture an Airfield in Somalia,” The Independent, February 19, 2013. Available: http://www.independent.co.ug/news/news/7483-au-forces-capture-an-airfield-in-somalia
[10] “No More Time with al Shabaab,” Shabelle, February 20, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/no-more-time-with-alshabab/
“Somalia: Al Shabaab Clash with Allied Forces in Janaale,” Garowe Online, February 20, 2013. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Al_Shabaab_clash_with_allied_forces_in_Janaale.shtml
[11] “Somaliland Boasts it has Caught the Most Terrorist in Somalia,” Garowe Online, February 19, 2013. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somaliland_boasts_it_has_caught_the_most_terrorists_in_Somalia.shtml
[12] “Somali Security Forces Set Sights on Gedo, Jubba,” Sabahi Online, February 19, 2013. Available: http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/newsbriefs/2013/02/19/newsbrief-07
“Security is Our Priority,” Shabelle, February 20, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/security-is-our-priority-in-the-region/
[14] “AMISOM Asks for Iran’s Help to Save Somalia from Rebels,” Bar Kulan, February 20, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/02/20/amisom-asks-for-irans-help-to-save-somalia-from-rebels/
[15] “UN Must Prepare for Future Potential Mission- Heads of Peacekeeping, Field Support Say,” UN News Centre, February 19, 2013. Available: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44178&Cr=peacekeeping&Cr1=#.USTRaB04vnh
[16] “Court of Appeals Hears Case of Journalist and Woman He Interviewed Who Alleged the Government Forces Raped Her,” Al Jazeera, February 20, 2013. Available: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/02/20132209334473127.html
“Somalia: Appeal Hearing for Jailed Journalist and Alleged Rape Victim,” Garowe Online, February 20, 2013. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Appeal_hearing_for_jailed_journalist_and_alleged_rape_victim.shtml
[17] Djiboutian Coast Guard Captures 62 Migrants Bound for Yemen,” February 19, 2013. Available: http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/newsbriefs/2013/02/19/newsbrief-01