Gulf of Aden Security Review

A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.

Yemen: President Hadi issues decrees restructuring the armed forces, dismissing Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh and Ali Mohsen al Ahmar; tribal clashes renew near Mukhlaf Sharab al Salam, Taiz governorate; armed clashes break out between tribal militants and marginalized citizens in Taiz, Taiz governorate; Defense Minister establishes fact-finding committee to investigate Rada’a violence; Central Security officers protest against their commander in al Dhaleh governorate.

Horn of Africa: Unknown gunmen open fire on Somaliland officials near Burao, Togdheer region; Kenya-based Muslim Youth Center releases statement accusing Omar Hammami of orchestrating verbal attack on al Shabaab’s leader Mukhtar Abu Zubair “Godane”; Somalia’s immigration department announced all foreigners must register with the government; Lower Shabelle officials report roadblocks and food thefts in the region; Nigerian AMISOM Formed Police Unit receives medals for outstanding performance; Somali prime minister meets with Ugandan president in Kampala, Uganda.

Yemen Security Brief

  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued several decrees on April 10 restructuring the armed forces and dismissing Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, former head of the Republican Guard, and Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, former commander of the First Armored Division. Ahmed Saleh, Yemen’s new ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, and Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, President Hadi’s new adviser for military affairs, both welcomed the move, along with the military’s top brass and various political parties. Dozens of other military officials were also purged and replaced and some were reassigned to diplomatic posts. Demonstrations in support of the decrees took place in several governorates, including Sana’a and al Bayda, on April 10 and 11.[1] 
  • Armed clashes broke out on April 10 between tribal gunmen near Sharab al Salam, Taiz governorate, breaking a four-month truce that was brokered by local figures. Two people were killed and one woman was injured.[2]
  • Armed clashes broke out on April 10 between tribal militants and marginalized citizens in Taiz, Taiz governorate after the militants killed a vegetable vendor. Some citizens cut off several main roads in the city and burned tires to protest. Security forces were unable to disperse them.[3] 
  • Defense Minister Mohamed Nasser Ahmed established a fact-finding committee on April 9 to investigate the recent violence in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate. The committee includes government representatives and local sheikhs.[4]
  • Central Security officers reportedly protested against their commander, Said al Rimi, on April 10 and prevented him from entering the military camp in al Dhaleh governorate. They accuse him of corruption and failing to secure the camp.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Unknown gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying the Somaliland minister of livestock and the governor of Togdheer outside Burao, Togdheer region. Police engaged the gunmen in a firefight resulting in the deaths of one police officer and one gunman.[6]
  • Kenya-based Muslim Youth Center released a statement accusing Omar Hammami, an American within al Shabaab also known as Abu Mansur al Amriki, of orchestrating the appeal made by a high ranking al Shabaab official to Ayman al Zawahiri to depose al Shabaab’s leader Mukhtar Abu Zubair “Godane.”[7]
  • Somalia’s immigration department announced on April 10 that all foreigners living in the country must register with the government at the immigration offices in Mogadishu within the next 12 days.[8]
  • The Somali government condemned the assassination attempt on a prominent Islamic leader that took place on April 8. Somali Information Minister Abdullahi Hersi blamed al Shabaab for the attack and said the Somali government would protect Islamic clerics in the country.[9]
  • Lower Shabelle officials announced men wearing Somali Army uniforms have constructed roadblocks on the road linking Mogadishu and Afgoye, Lower Shabelle region. Food aid has also reportedly been stolen from the region. Lower Shabelle administrators are asking for government intervention in the matter.[10]
  • The Nigerian contingent of the AMISOM Formed Police Unit received medals recognizing outstanding service to AMISOM during a parade held in their honor in Mogadishu on April 10. The Nigerian unit will be returning home soon.[11]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala, Uganda on April 11. The two men discussed how to advance AMISOM’s work in Somalia.[12]

[1] Mohammed Ghobari, “Yemen president removes key officer in army shakeup: TV,” Reuters, April 10, 2013. Available:
“Brigadier General Ahmed Ali welcomes the news of his dismissal,” Al Motamar, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Major General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar issues his first statement after his dismissal,” Yemen Press, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Leaders of the armed forces declare absolute support for the decisions of the President of the Republic,” 26 September, April 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Hassan Mishaf, Marib Press publishes reactions of various parties to the recent presidential decisions,” Mareb Press, April 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
Fahd al Tawil, “Marches and celebrations by revolutionaries in al Bayda in support of presidential decisions,” Mareb Press, April 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Taiz: Two were killed and a woman injured during renewed tribal clashes in Mukhlaf Sharab,” Mareb Press, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Taiz: Armed clashes between tribes, marginalized and security fails to stop it,” Mareb Press, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“The marginalized call for the “stone revolution” from the city of Taiz,” Barakish, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] Ali Ibrahim al Moshki, “Following fresh clashes in Rada'a, Defense Ministry launches fact-finding mission with local sheikhs,” Yemen Times, April 10, 2013. Available:
[5]  Ahmed al Dahyani, “Al Dhaleh: Members of Central Security protests against their leader,” Al Tagheer, April 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Somaliland: Two Dead in a Violent Land Dispute in Burao Town,” Somaliland Press, April 10, 2013. Available:
[7] “MYC Accuses Hammami of Masterminding Official’s Appeal to Zawahiri,” SITE Intelligence Group, April 10, 2013. Available at SITE.
[8] “Immigration Officials Order all Foreigners in the Country to Register Themselves,” Shabelle, April 10, 2013. Available:
[9] “Somalia: Information Minister Accuses al Shabaab of Attack on Sheikh,” Garowe Online, April 10, 2013. Available:
[10] “Lower Shabelle Administration Cries Foul Over Road Blocks along Mogadishu-Afgoye Highway,” Shabelle, April 10, 2013. Available:
[11] “Nigerian Formed Police Officers Receive Medals in Recognition of Their Contribution to AMISOM,” AMISOM, April 10, 2013. Available:
[12] “Prime Minister Shirdon and President Museveni Discuss Advancing Security in Somalia,” Shabelle, April 11, 2013. Available:
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