Gulf of Aden Security Review - November 15, 2013

Yemen: Al Houthis accuse military officer of providing weapons to Salafists; Salafists gain ground in Kataf, Sa’ada; agreement to divide Yemen into six regions

Horn of Africa: AU believes troops surge will defeat al Shabaab; U.S. Africa Command budget cut by 10 percent; Britain to send 25 troops to train Kenyan wildlife officers; Somalia opens emergency telephone service in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi representative Ahmed al Mani’ai said that Major General Hamid al Qashibi provided heavy weapons to the Salafists in Damaj, Sa’ada governorate. He also said that foreign fighters were provoking conflict and should be condemned by all parties.[1]
  • Al Houthi and Salafist gunmen clashed in Kataf, Sa’ada governorate on November 14. Fifteen al Houthis, including an unidentified al Houthi leader, died in the fighting. Salafists gained territory in Kataf, putting them only 26 kilometers away from breaking the siege on Damaj.[2]
  • Islah (Reform) party leader Abdulrahman Bafadal said that parties at the National Dialogue Conference reached an agreement on November 14 for a six-region federal system. Under the agreement, there would be three regions in the north and three in the south. The south and north would have equal representation in parliament.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The African Union’s Deputy Chairman Eratus Mwencha said the increase in AMISOM troops will facilitate the political process and result in the defeat of al Shabaab on November 14.[4]
  • The Department of Defense cut the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) budget by over 10 percent. AFRICOM commander General David Rodriguez noted in a November 14 press conference that the U.S. military would maintain the capabilities to conduct direct action in Somalia, and held Somalia up as a model.[5]
  • Britain announced that 25 troops are scheduled to deploy to Kenya to train wildlife officers to disrupt al Shabaab’s ivory smuggling routes on November 10.[6]
  • Somalia reopened the Mogadishu emergency response telephone service for residents to contact police on November 14.[7]

[1] “Al Houthis Accused Leader in the Army of Supplying Damaj Militants with Heavy Weapons,” Yemen Live, November 15, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.yemen-live.net/news3759.html
[2] “Al Houthi Leader Killed in Fierce Battle in Kataf, and 26 km Separates the Kataf Front from Damaj and Presenting to the Salafists There,” Hour News, November 15, 2013. Available: http://hournews.net/news-24212.htm#.UoZIMKxDQ4Q
[3] “Islah Leader Discloses Final Agreement to Divide Yemen into 6 Regions and Parliament and Government 50-50,” Mareb Press, November 15, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.marebpress.net/news_details.php?lng=arabic&sid=61697
[4] “Troops surge could end al-Shabab insurgency says AU official,” VOA, November 14, 2013. Available: http://www.voanews.com/content/troop-surge-could-end-al-shabab-insurgency-says-au-official/1790152.html?
[5] “U.S. military faces Africa cuts, sees Somalia, Mali successes,” Reuters, November 14, 2013. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/14/us-africa-usa-military-idUSBRE9AD1AA20131114
[6] “British troops drafted in to save elephants from Al Shabaab terrorists,” Express, November 10, 2013. Available: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/442115/British-troops-drafted-in-to-save-elephants-from-Al-Shabaab-terrorists
[7] “Somalia: Revamped 888 Emergency Response Line Adds to Growing Security Services in Mogadishu,” Sabahi, November 14, 2013. Available: http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/features/2013/11/14/feature-02