Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 12, 2013

Yemen: Gunmen attack power lines in al Shabwan, Ma’rib governorate; Tihami Movement supporters protest in al Hudaydah governorate; Yemeni Army Chief of Staff Major General Ahmed al Ashwal meets U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey in Washington, D.C.; popular committee gunmen shoot fleeing AQAP suspect; demonstrators protest in Ibb, Ibb governorate; Yemeni deputy interior minister meets with U.S. State Department official over counterterrorism cooperation

Horn of Africa: Five journalists are beaten outside a courthouse in Mogadishu, Somalia; two dead bodies are found in the northeast of Mogadishu; hundreds of Somali soldiers protest in Baidoa, Bay region; six Kenyan judges to hear election appeals case by Raila Odinga; regional elders take over Jubbaland conference; al Shabaab militants warn leaders in Bardhere, Gedo region to not attend Jubbaland conference; Somali prime minister and Puntland president sign bilateral agreement in Garowe, Nugaal region; inflation rate rises in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • Gunmen attacked power lines in al Shabwan, Ma’rib governorate on March 12, pre-empting attempts to repair the lines after the last attack.[1]
  • Tihami Movement supporters protested in front of the al Hudaydah governorate gate on March 12, demanding the prosecution of local leaders and security officials.[2]
  • Yemeni Chief of Staff of the General Command Major General Ahmed Ali al Ashwal met with U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey in Washington, D.C. on March 12, to discuss counterterrorism cooperation, security force assistance programs and Yemeni Army restructuring.[3]
  • Popular committee gunmen shot a fleeing detainee suspected of belonging to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Jaar, Abyan governorate on March 11.[4]
  • Protesters blocked streets in Ibb, Ibb governorate beginning on March 10, over a water dispute.[5]
  • Deputy Interior Minister Staff Major General Ali Nasser Lakhsha’ met with State Department counterterrorism official George Dentio to discuss counterterrorism cooperation, and specifically intelligence and counterterrorism training for Interior Ministry employees on March 11 in Sana’a.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Five Somali journalists were beaten and threatened at gunpoint by Somali soldiers outside a courthouse in Mogadishu on March 12. The journalists were invited by the court chairman to cover a case but were promptly thrown out by the police. When the journalists tried to reenter they were attacked by Somali soldiers.[7]
  • Two dead bodies were dumped in a northeast neighborhood in Mogadishu on March 11. Both victims had been shot. Only one boy has been identified and the killers have not been caught.[8]
  • Hundreds of Somali soldiers around the Bay region went on strike on March 10. The soldiers left their posts and traveled to Baidoa, Bay region to demand their salaries from the government.[9]
  • Six Kenyan Supreme Court justices are prepared to hear claims brought by Raila Odinga who will be challenging the outcome of the Kenyan elections. Odinga’s lawyer is expected to file the claim on March 13.[10]
  • Regional elders say that they have taken over leadership at the Jubbaland conference in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region because members of the interim Kismayo administration are traveling to Nairobi, Kenya.[11]
  • Al Shabaab militants warned leaders in Bardhere, Gedo region on March 12 to not attend the Jubbaland conference. Al Shabaab soldiers said they would kill anyone who traveled from the town to Kismayo.[12]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon and Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole signed an agreement in Garowe, Nugaal region on March 11. The agreement states that the two governments will cooperate on security, finance and development matters, in addition to helping the democratization process in Puntland.[13]
  • Many across Somalia are becoming concerned over the devaluation of the Somali shilling leading to inflation and a higher cost of living throughout the country.[14]    

[1] “New Attack on Power Lines and Ma’rib Power Station out of Commission,” al Masdar Online, March 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/42736
[2] “Tihami Mobility Pitch Tents in Front of the Governorate to Demand Resignation of Security and Military Leaders,” Barakish Net, March 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=12&id=46436
[3] “Yemeni-American Talks at the Pentagon to Discuss the Restructuring of the Army and U.S. Support,” Mareb Press, March 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.marebpress.net/news_details.php?lng=arabic&sid=53099
[4] “Source: al Qaeda Suspect Killed during Escape Attempt in Jaar, Abyan,” al Masdar Online, March 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/42705
[5] “Ibb: Protesters Close Governorate Street and Begin Open Sit-In,” Mareb Press, March 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.marebpress.net/news_details.php?lng=arabic&sid=53064
[6] “Interior Ministry Discussions with State Department Program Director,” Mareb Press, March 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.marebpress.net/news_details.php?lng=arabic&sid=53065
[7] “Somalia Journalists Beaten by Police While Covering Court Case, Says Union,” The Guardian, March 12, 2013. Available: http://hiiraan.com/news4/2013/Mar/28471/somalian_journalists_beaten_by_police_while_covering_court_case_says_union.aspx
[8] “Bodies Dumped in the North East of Mogadishu,” Shabelle, March 12, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/bodies-dumped-in-the-north-east-of-mogadishu/
[9] “Government Soldiers on Go-Slow Pour Into Baidoa,” Bar Kulan, February 12, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/03/12/government-soldiers-on-go-slow-pour-into-baidoa/
[10] “6 Supreme Court Judges to Handle Odinga’s Court Petition,” Sabahi, March 11, 2013. Available: http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/newsbriefs/2013/03/11/newsbrief-03
[11] “Regional Elders Take Over Jubaland Conference,” Radio Kulmiye, March 12, 2013. Available: http://www.kulmiyenews.com/?nid=12742
[12] “Somali Militants Threaten Kismayo Conference Participants,” Bulshoweyn Online, March 12, 2013. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/march-12-2013-daily-monitoring-report/
[13] “Somalia: PM Shirdon and President Farole Sign ‘Critical’ Agreement,” Garowe Online, March 11, 2013. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_PM_Shirdon_and_President_Farole_sign_critical_agreement.shtml
[14] “Somalia: President Hassan Speaks about Inflation,” Garowe Online, March 10, 2013. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_President_Hassan_speaks_about_inflation.shtml