Gulf of Aden Security Review - November 16, 2012

Yemen: Security forces arrest five Ansar al Sharia militants in Aden governorate; suicide bomber targets Popular Resistance Committees in Abyan governorate; Yemeni government condemns Israeli attacks on Gaza; security forces release seized government transportation vehicles; al Houthi rebels mobilize in al Saddah district of Ibb governorate; unidentified assailants knock down power lines between Zinjibar and Aden; al Anad airbase official denies reports of explosion

Horn of Africa: New Somali Cabinet sworn in; Somali troops and al Shabaab fighters clash in Baidoa, Bay; two Kenyan police officers are killed in Garissa, Kenya; new Djiboutian troops arrive in Beledweyne; al Shabaab denounces Israel’s action against Gaza; Somali president refutes claims made by Reuters, supports charcoal ban in Kismayo

Yemen Security Brief

  • Security forces raided a house and arrested five Ansar al Sharia militants in Dar Saad district of Aden governorate on November 15. Security forces seized weapons, laptops, cell phones, and a vehicle following the raid. One Ansar al Sharia militant was wounded in the raid and several others were able to escape. Local sources reported that security forces are pursuing the escapees.[1]
  • A suicide bomber targeted Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) forces in Abyan governorate on November 16. Local sources reported that the suicide bomber detonated an explosive device near a local government building in Zinjibar district. At least three PRC members, identified as Othman Bader Mansour, Jamal al Rawa’i, and Najeeb al Shater, were killed in the attack. Several more were wounded.[2]
  • An unidentified spokesmen for the Yemeni government strongly condemned Israeli attacks on Gaza on November 16. The unidentified spokesman added that the international community shoulders the responsibility for stopping Israeli attacks on Gaza.[3]
  • Security forces released 6 transportation vehicles on November 15.  The vehicles, which belonged to a Yemeni economic organization, were seized by armed tribesmen in al Haymah al Dakhliyah near Sana’a on October 31.[4]
  • Local sources reported on November 15 that al Houthi rebels mobilized in al Saddah district of Ibb governorate. Local sources added that tensions remain high between residents in al Masqa village and al Houthi rebels and that the sectarian tension poses a real threat to peace in the region.[5]
  • Unidentified assailants knocked down a number of electricity lines between Zinjibar district and Aden governorate on November 16. Local sources reported that the assailants are attempting to create chaos in the region.[6]
  • Brig. Gen. Marzouq al Sayadi denied reports of citizens finding a rocket near al Anad airbase in Lahij governorate on November 15. Brig. Gen. Sayadi also denied reports of an unknown explosion at al Anad airbase.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The newly approved Somali cabinet was sworn in on November 15 at Villa Somalia in Mogadishu. Several foreign leaders have welcomed the swearing in of the new ministers including Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.[8]
  • Somali troops attacked an al Shabaab bases outside Baidoa, Bay region on November 16. Heavy fighting between the two sides continued for several hours and mortars were heard in nearby villages. Exact casualty numbers are not yet known.[9]
  • Two Kenyan police officers were shot while attempting to search a terror suspect at a market in Garissa, Kenya on November 15. The two officers began searching a man who was carrying a gun when they were shot at by a second unknown attacker. Both officers were killed and the two suspects stole the policemen’s pistols and fled the scene.[10]
  • Sixty-five additional Djiboutian troops arrived in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on November 16 to augment the existing Djiboutian contingent working in the area. Djibouti will move the rest of its promised troops into Somalia in the next ten days.[11]
  • Al Shabaab denounced Israel’s actions against Gaza via its Twitter account on November 15. Al Shabaab made mention that the U.S. and other Western states approved of Israel’s actions but urged the Muslims in Gaza to fight back against Israel.[12]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud held a press conference in Mogadishu on November 15 to refute the claims made by Reuters that he reversed his approval of the charcoal ban in Kismayo. President Mohamud said that he is in line with the United Nations and the Somali government in banning charcoal exports but is working hard to find a solution to the problem.[13]    

[1] “Five Ansar al Sharia Suspects Arrested in Aden,” SABA, November 15, 2012. Available: http://sabanews.net/en/news287897.htm
[2] “Breaking: 3 Killed and Others Wounded in a Suicide Explosion at Government Building in Zinjibar,” Barakish, November 16, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=39540
“Breaking: Killed and Wounded [Individuals] in Suicide Explosion Targeting Government Complex Building in Zinjibar,” Aden al Ghad, November 16, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://adenalghad.net/news/21212.htm
[3] “Yemen Strongly Condemns and Deplores the Oppressive Israeli Aggression on Gaza and Calls on the International Community to Carry the Responsibility for Stopping the Aggression,” SABA, November 16, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://sabanews.net/ar/news287917.htm
[4] “Release of 6 Transportation Vehicles Seized by a Tribal Roadblock in al Haymah al Kharjiyah,” SABA, November 15, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://sabanews.net/ar/news287907.htm
[5] “Sectarian Tension Returns Again to al Saddah and [There Are] Fears of the Situation Exploding,” Barakish, November 15, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=39517
[6] “Unidentified People Damage Electricity Line Poles Connecting Aden and Zinjibar,” Aden al Ghad, November 16, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://adenalghad.net/news/21193.htm
[7] “Brigadier al Sayadi Denies False News about al Anad Airbase,” 26 September, November 15, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://26sep.net/news_details.php?sid=86315
[8] “Somali Cabinet Ministers Sworn In,” Shabelle, November 15, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/somalia-cabinet-ministers-sworn-in/
“UN Chief Welcomes Swearing-In of New Somali Cabinet,” Bar Kulan, November 16, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/16/un-chief-welcomes-swearing-in-of-new-somali-cabinet/
“President Kibaki Commends Somalia,” Capital FM, November 16, 2012. Available: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2012/11/president-kibaki-commends-somalia/
[9] Heavy Fighting Renews in Southern Somalia,” Shabelle, November 16, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/heavy-fighting-renews-in-southern-somalia/
[10] “Kenyan Policemen Shot Dead in Garissa,” Bar Kulan, November 16, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/16/kenyan-policemen-shot-dead-in-garissa/
[11] “Hiran Security Boosted as More Djiboutian Troops Arrive,” Bar Kulan, November 16, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/16/hiran-security-boosted-as-more-djiboutian-troops-arrive/
[12] “Shabaab Condemns Israeli Campaign in Gaza, urges Muslims Give Support,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 15, 2012. Available at SITE.
[13] “Somali President Denies Reuters Report on Kismayo Charcoal,” Radio Risaala, November 15, 2012. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/november-16-2012-daily-monitoring-report/