Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 19, 2013

Yemen: U.S. State Department issues press release pledging $10.5 million in aid for Yemeni National Dialogue; AQAP releases biography of slain official; UN envoy to Yemen calls on southern parties to participate in National Dialogue; security forces detain six individuals accused in Ma’rib pipeline bombings; Yemeni 30th Brigade expels new commander; Southern Movement separatists demonstrate against National Dialogue conference in southern Yemen; individuals protest killing of Southern Movement activist in Tarim, Hadramawt; individuals protest National Dialogue conference in Taiz city; 3rd Mountain Infantry Brigade troops clash with civilians in Ma’rib governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants kill two civilians in Hudur, Bakool region; AMISOM disposes of land mines from Kismayo hospital, in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; Somali leaders and global representatives condemn the March 18 terrorist attack in Mogadishu; Somaliland president says his state will not be attending the London Conference on Somalia; Somali journalist, who interviewed an alleged rape victim, is released in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • The U.S .Department of State issued a press release on March 18 commending Yemen’s National Dialogue and pledging $10.5 million in aid to support it.[1]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a biography of slain official Abu Hafs al Hadhrami on jihadist forums on March 14. Al Hadhrami previously served as a coordinator sending Saudi and Yemeni fighters to Iraq, and later on, led AQAP’s operations in Hadramawt governorate. The publication is the fourteenth in AQAP’s “Martyrs of the Peninsula” series.[2]
  • UN Envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, called on all parties in southern Yemen to participate in the National Dialogue, in his opening speech to the National Dialogue conference on March 18.[3]
  • Security forces detained six individuals accused of blowing up oil pipelines in Ma’rib governorate in al Zawr, Ma’rib governorate on March 18.[4]
  • Members of the Yemeni 30th Brigade expelled their new commander, Brigadier General Saleh al Halisi, after he attempted to arrest those responsible for expelling the 30th Brigade’s previous commander, Brigadier General Ahmed Shamlan, in Camp Hamza, Ibb governorate on March 18.[5]
  • Southern Movement separatists demonstrated against the National Dialogue conference throughout southern Yemen, including in Aden and al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate on March 18. In related news, the Yemeni army arrested two protesters at a checkpoint at the entrance to al Mukalla.[6]
  • Southern Movement supporters demonstrated in Tarim, Hadramawt governorate on March 19, after a Southern Movement activist was killed on March 18.[7]
  • Individuals protested against the National Dialogue conference, cutting off Jamal Street in Taiz city, Taiz, Yemen on March 18.[8]
  • 3rd Mountain Infantry Brigade troops clashed with civilians at a qat market in Ma’rib governorate on March 18. One civilian was killed and two were wounded in the incident.[9]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants killed two civilians in recently captured Hudur, Bakool region on March 18. One of the victims was a woman al Shabaab believed to be working with the Somali government.[10]
  • AMISOM forces disposed of two landmines and several hand grenades from inside the main hospital in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on March 18. AMISOM troops swept the hospital in preparation for the hospital’s reopening on March 19. It has been closed since 2008.[11]
  • Somali leaders and representatives from around the world condemned the terrorist attack that took place in Mogadishu on March 18, killing at least 10 people. Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon sent their condolences to the families of those lost. Representatives from AMISOM, the United Nations and the United States all strongly condemned the attacks.[12]
  • Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud “Silanyo” announced that the Somaliland government would not be attending the London Conference on Somalia in May 2013. He explained that the conference, which was supposed to facilitate mediation between Somalia and Somaliland, was only for Somalia and did not concern his breakaway state.[13]
  • Somali journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, who was sentenced to six months in prison for interviewing a woman allegedly raped by security forces, was released when a Somali court decided to drop the case on March 17.[14] 

[1] Victoria Nuland. “Start of Yemen’s National Dialogue,” U.S. Department of State, March 18, 2013. Available: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/03/206390.htm
[2] “AQAP Releases Biography of Slain Official, Jihadi Coordinator” SITE Intel Group, March 18, 2013. Available at SITE.
[3] “Jamal Benomar Calls for Communicating with Southern Parties to Include Them in the National Dialogue,” al Masdar Online, March 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/43019
[4] “Six Oil Pipeline Bombers Detained in Ma’rib,” Barakish Net, March 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=46810
[5] “30th Brigade Soldiers and Officers Expel New Commander Appointed by Ahmed Ali,” al Masdar Online, March 19, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/43036
[6] “Southern Movement Organizes a Huge Rally in Aden Against the National Dialogue,” al Masdar Online, March 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/42984
[7] “Demonstration of Movement Supporters After Activist Killed in Hadramawt,” al Masdar Online, March 19, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/43055
[8] “Protesters Cut off Streets in Taiz Expressing Their Rejection of the Dialogue,” al Masdar Online, March 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/43033
[9] “Ma’rib: Dead and Two Wounded in Clashes Between Soldiers and Civilians,” Mareb Press, March 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.marebpress.net/news_details.php?lng=arabic&sid=53325
[10] “Al Shabaab Kills Two Civilians in Hudur District,” Mustaqbal Radio, March 18, 2013. Available: http://www.mustaqbalradio.com/al-shabab-kills-two-civilians-in-hudur-disrict/
[11] “AMISOM Disposes Unexploded Ordnance from Kismayo Hospital,” Bar Kulan, March 18, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/03/18/amisom-disposes-unexploded-ordnance-from-kismayo-hospital/
[12] “Somali President Strongly Condemns Today’s Suicide Attack,” Shabelle, March 18, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/somali-president-strongly-condemns-todays-suicide-attack/
“Somali Prime Minister: ‘Out Will is Stronger and Such Attacks Can’t Deal or Disrupt our Mission,’” Shabelle, March 18, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/somali-prime-minister-our-will-is-stronger-and-such-attacks-cant-derail-or-disrupt-our-mission/
“US Special Representative for Somalia Condemns Terror Attack in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, March 18, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/us-special-representative-for-somalia-condemns-terror-attack-in-mogadishu/
“Mogadishu Bomb Attack Unacceptable, Says Mahiga,” Bar Kulan, March 18, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/03/18/mogadishu-bomb-attack-unacceptable-says-mahiga/
[13] “Somaliland Will Not Attend London Conference Declares President Silaanyo,” Qaran News, March 18, 2013. Available: http://www.qarannews.com/2013/03/somaliland-will-not-attend-london-conference-declares-president-silaanyo/
[14] “Somalia Court Drop Charges Against Journalist Held Over Rape Report,” Bar Kulan, March 17, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/03/17/somalia-court-drops-charges-against-journalist-held-over-rape-report/