Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 31, 2010

Yemen: Bomb injures two policemen in Dhale; two southern separatists sentenced; Yemeni man attacks Indonesian diplomat in Sana’a; Saleh asks international community for $44 billion; spokesperson for southern movement wounded

Horn of Africa: Kenya denies ties to al Shabaab; U.S. considering drones for Somalia; former Puntland Minister of Security speaks openly of relief; pirates hijack another 2 vessels, totaling 11 in two days; al Shabaab sends strong warning to offshore foreign assets; Saudi Arabia deports 120 Somalis; Kenyan troops and al Shabaab take part in a brief skirmish; leader of Hizb al Islam calls for the release of commercial boats in 48 hours; Kenya denies Somalia troop increase; explosion in Afgoi wounds three

Yemen Security Brief

  • Two policemen were wounded in Dhale after a bomb was thrown at their security patrol on Monday. The bombing occurred after police had dispersed a protest to release prisoners being detained for rioting during recent separatist demonstrations in the city.[1]
  • Two southern activists were sentenced to jail on Tuesday for “harming the national unity.”  Fadi Hassan Ahmed Baoum, a leader of the southern movement, was sentenced to five years in prison, while Hussain Mothanna al Aqil, a professor at Aden University, received a three year sentence.[2]
  • A Yemeni man broke into the Indonesian embassy in Sana’a and attacked an attaché in the office. The man was allegedly trying to assault a female worker at the embassy, when the attaché stopped the man. Officials are currently investigating the incident.[3]
  • In a meeting with governmental aid donors in Abu Dhabi, President Ali Abdullah Saleh said that Yemen needs $44 billion to implement its social and economic development plan from 2011 to 2015. Representatives from 20 countries were in attendance at the meeting.[4]
  • According to a report by Sahwa Net, the spokesman for the southern movement was injured in a shootout with police in Dhale on Tuesday. The name of the spokesman was not released. A Yemeni soldier was also wounded in the incident.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenya is denying allegations of links to the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab, which are based of a recent UN report. Francis Kimemia, a senior official at the Ministry of Internal Security, stated it’s “propaganda” and any al Shabaab leaders who pass through Kenya were to be arrested. Kimemia also stated Kenyan authorities were watching Kenyan mosques closely incase of sympathetic clerics radicalizing and recruiting young Kenyans and Somali refugees.[6]
  • U.S. Pentagon officials are considering deploying surveillance drones, along with other limited military support, for the Somali government’s offensive against al Shabaab. The U.S. is attempting to send the right amount of support to the Somali government to help fight the al Qaeda-linked militants without leaving a significant U.S. footprint.[7]
  • Gen. Abdullahi Said Samatar, former Puntland Minister of Security, stated he had no problem with “relinquishing” his previous position; however, the manner in which it was done remains an issue of contention.[8]
  • Somali pirates have seized two more Mogadishu and Kismayo bound vessels, en route from Dubai to deliver goods.[9]
  • Sheikh Mohammed Abdala, Marka commanding officer of al Shabaab, sent a strong warning to the warships and warplanes off the Somali coastal town of Marka. Sheikh Abdala stated the group has “several means to bring down [the] planes.”[10]
  • In an effort to expel illegal immigrants, Saudi Arabia deported 120 Somalis from the populous cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam to Mogadishu. This comes after hundreds of al Qaeda suspects were apprehended in the Kingdom last week.[11]
  • Keynan troops, who have been deployed to the Kenyan-Somali border for security, have skirmished against al Shabaab in Xar-xaar. An unverified report stated 3 Kenyan troops were wounded in the skirmish with the Islamist group.[12]
  • Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, leader of Hizbul Islam, held a press conference calling for Somali pirates to release the captured commercial boats in the next 48 hours.[13]
  • Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has denied Somali President Sharif Sheik Ahmed’s request for 2,500 Kenyan-trained Somali troops to be deployed to Mogadishu for the upcoming offensive against Islamist militants. President Kibaki feared the movement of troops to Mogadishu because it would mean troops leaving the Somali-Kenyan border, making Kenya more vulnerable to cross-border incursions.[14]
  • An explosion which occurred 30 miles south of Mogadishu, close to the town of Agoi, has wounded three civilians. The explosion occurred near a farm owned by former Somali President Ali Mahdi Mohamed. The explosion came from a grenade targeting security forces on the farm.[15]


[1] “2 Policemen Wounded When Bomb Thrown at Security Patrol in Dhale,” Yemen Post, March 31, 2010. Available: http://www.yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=2029&MainCat=3
[2] “Yemen Court Sentences 2 Southern Activists,” Xinhua, March 31, 2010. Available: http://english.cctv.com/20100331/101155.shtml
[3] “Man Attacks Attache at Indonesian Embassy in Yemen,” Yemen Post, March 31, 2010. Available: http://www.yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=2030&MainCat=3
[4] “Yemen Says Needs $44 Billion as Friends Meet in Abu Dhabi,” Yemen Post, March 30, 2010. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=2027&MainCat=7
[5] “Senior Leader of Southern Movement Wounded,” Sahwa Net, March 30, 2010. Available: http://www.alsahwa-yemen.net/view_nnews.asp?sub_no=403_2010_03_30_77089
[6] “Kenya Denies Links to Somalia's al-Shabab,” BBC News, March 31, 2010. Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8596716.stm
[7] “Pentagon Eyeing Drone Shift to aid Somalia,” Garowe Online, March 30, 2010. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Pentagon_eyeing_drone_shift_to_aid_Somalia.shtml
[8]Former Puntland Security Minister Speaks Out” Garowe Online, March 30, 2010. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Former_Puntland_security_minister_speaks_out.shtml
[9] “Pirates Seize 11 Somalia-bound Ships,” Garowe Online, March 30, 2010. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Pirates_seize_11_Somalia-bound_ships.shtml
[10] “Al-Shabab Sends Strong Warning Signal to Warships,” Somaliweyn, March 31, 2010. Available: http://www.somaliweyn.org/pages/news/Mar_10/31Mar16.html
[11] “More Than 120 Somalis Deported from KSA,” Somaliweyn, March 31, 2010. Available: http://www.somaliweyn.org/pages/news/Mar_10/31Mar17.html
[12] “Kenyan Troops Go into Brief Skirmish with Al-Shabab,” Somaliweyn, March 31, 2010. Available: http://www.somaliweyn.org/pages/news/Mar_10/31Mar15.html
[13] “Sheik Aways Sets 48 Hours for Pirates to Release Commercial Boats,” Shabelle Media Network, March 30, 2010. Available: http://allafrica.com/stories/201003310054.html
[14] “Kenya Vetoes Somali Wish for Troops in Mogadishu,” AP, March 31, 2010. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g7OaI4_kjeHA-o4UhlmP7vlWmrrwD9EP2LIO0
[15] “Explosion Wounds Three People Near Afgoi Town,” Shabelle Media Network, March 30, 2010. Available: http://allafrica.com/stories/201003301026.html