Gulf of Aden Security Review - February 8, 2013

Yemen: Gunmen blow up oil pipeline in Wadi Abeidah, Yemeni army responds with shelling and air patrols; Yemeni government requests UN Security Council investigate seized ship; UN Envoy to Yemen briefs UN Security Council on Yemen situation; negotiations ongoing between tribal mediators and Ansar al Sharia in al Bayda governorate; tribal mediators call on Major General al Ahmar to fulfill his obligations to the tribe; Yemeni Army units deploy in vicinity of al Habilain, Lahij

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants ambush Ethiopian convoy in Yed, Bakool region; improvised explosive device (IED) hits Ethiopian convoy in Baidoa, Bay region; Somali court sentences 19 people in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; Somali president meets with Somali community in Cairo, Egypt; Somali interior and national security minister meets with local leaders in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; Somaliland president meets with U.S. representatives in Nairobi, Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • Gunmen blew up an oil pipeline in Wadi Abeidah, Ma’rib governorate on February 6. The Yemeni army responded by bombarding the area with artillery, and warplanes were spotted patrolling the area on the morning of February 8.[1]
  • The Yemeni government formally requested the United Nations Security Council to investigate a ship carrying weapons interdicted on January 23 in the Arabian Sea on February 7. UN Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar said that the Security Council was considering the request.[2]
  • UN Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar briefed the UN Security Council on February 7 regarding the situation in Yemen. Benomar said that the situation “remains fragile,” and while “progress has been made and the transition remains largely on track, it is clear that there has been active resistance to the transition.”[3]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants in al Bayda governorate reportedly accepted an offer by tribal mediators regarding a cessation of hostilities between the militants and Yemeni troops, as well as the release of Western hostages in the governorate, only to be rebuffed by the Yemeni government, according to a report in Barakish Net on February 7.[4]
  • Tribal mediators from Bani Dhabyan, led by Sheikh Ahmed bin Ahmed al Zuba called on Major General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar to fulfill his obligations to the tribe after the tribe successfully negotiated for the release of Saudi Diplomat Saeed al Maliki on orders from Major General al Ahmar in a report in al Masdar Online on February 7.[5]
  • Yemeni Army armored units deployed in the vicinity of al Habilain, Lahij on February 8. The city is known to be a Southern Movement base of support.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed an Ethiopian convoy near Yed, Bakool region on February 7. The Ethiopian troops were traveling from El Barde to their base in Hudur. Heavy casualties are being reported but exact numbers are not known.[7]
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated and hit an Ethiopian convoy in Baidoa, Bay region on February 6. At least two Ethiopian soldiers were killed in the attack.[8]
  • A Somali court sentenced 19 people in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on February 8. The 19 convicts are made up of both Somali soldiers and al Shabaab militants. Four men were sentenced to death, nine were given prison sentences and the remaining six are still awaiting their punishment.[9]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with the Somali community in Cairo, Egypt on February 7. President Mohamud talked about the progress in Somalia and asked those Somalis living in Egypt to help rebuild the country.[10]
  • Somali Interior and National Security Minister Abdikarin Hussein Guled met with local elders and officials in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on February 7, to discuss forming a local administration for the region.[11]
  • President of Somaliland H.E. Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud met with the U.S. representatives, including U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Codec, in Nairobi on February 7.[12]     

[1] “Breaking: Oil Pipeline Explosion in Wadi Obeida, Ma’rib,” Barakish Net, February 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=12&id=44465
“Ma’rib: Middle Military Region Artillery Bombardment of Saboteurs’ Area,” Mareb Press, February 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.marebpress.net/news_details.php?lng=arabic&sid=51919
[3] “Yemen Needs Security Council Support to Continue Political Transition, UN Envoy Says,” UN News Centre, February 8, 2013. Available: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44097&Cr=yemen&Cr1=#.URU5mB1EHnh
[4] “Mediation Committee in al Bayda: al Qaeda Commits and the Government Rebuffs,” Barakish Net, February 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=44455
[5] “Tribal Sheikh Calls on Major General Ali Mohsen to Solve the Effects of the Kidnapping of the Saudi Diplomat Sa’eed al Maliki,” al Masdar Online, February 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/41386
[6] “Army Creates Checkpoints Around al Habilayn city, and Activists Fear an Invasion of the City,” Aden al Ghad, February 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://adenalghad.net/news/38935/
[7] “Ethiopian Troops Battle al Shabaab Fighters in South Central Somalia,” Garowe Online, February 7, 2013. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Ethiopian_troops_battle_Al_Shabaab_fighters_in_south_central_Somalia.shtml
[8] “Ethiopian Troops Battle al Shabaab Fighters in South Central Somalia,” Garowe Online, February 7, 2013. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Ethiopian_troops_battle_Al_Shabaab_fighters_in_south_central_Somalia.shtml
[9] “Somali Military Court Convicts 19 in Beledweyne,” Bar Kulan, February 8, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/02/08/somali-military-court-convicts-19-in-beledweyne/
[10] “President Mohamud Meets His Compatriots in Cairo,” Bar Kulan, February 8. 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/02/08/president-mohamud-meets-his-compatriots-in-cairo/
[11] “Ministers, Hiraan Regional Administration Officials Meet,” Radio Mustaqbal, February 7, 2013. Available: http://www.mustaqbalradio.com/ministers-hiiraan-regional-administration-officials-meet/
[12] “Somaliland: Leader Holds Talks with American Representatives in Kenya,” Somaliland Press, February 7, 2013. Available: http://somalilandpress.com/somaliland-leader-holds-talks-with-american-representatives-in-kenya-39809