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: Swiss study warns Yemeni government over local conflicts; seven men charged with drug smuggling in Hadramawt; 126 Somali refugees land in Yemen

Horn of Africa: 31 killed, 100 wounded in Mogadishu clash; AU denies the loss of peacekeepers in Mogadishu blasts; WHO: Mogadishu medics and hospitals overwhelmed by violence; al Shabaab attacks Kenyan forces; 4 dead in Mogadishu roadside bombing; Somali military commander states troops are ready for offensive; TFG and Puntland representatives sign an agreement harmonizing the Galkayo accord; hijacked UAE vessel headed towards Somalia; pirate activity driving up food prices

Yemen Security Brief

  • A study issued by the Center for Strategic Studies in Switzerland has determined that Yemen will face dire consequences if it cannot solve its local conflicts. The study called on Western governments to foment regional integration and mediate the simmering domestic conflicts that threaten Yemen’s sovereignty. In the past year, the Yemeni government has fought rebellions in both the south and north of the country.[i]
  • A court in Hadramawt has begun court proceedings for seven men charged with smuggling drugs into the port city of Mukalla. The defendants were denied lawyers during the first hearing and requested permission to hire lawyers for subsequent court appearances.[ii]
  • 126 more Somali refugees have landed in Yemen in boats on the coasts of Hadramawt and Taiz governorates. The refugees were immediately arrested and sent to detainee camps. Over 74,000 east Africans entered Yemen illegally in 2009.[iii]

Horn of Africa Brief

  • The Somali Islamist group al Shabaab launched mortars the Aden Adde International Airport, a heavily fortified compound guarded by African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) in Mogadishu. The group attacked while TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was departing en route to Kampala, Uganda. 31 people, mostly civilians, were killed, along with 100 wounded.[iv]
  • Major Barigye Bahoko, spokesman of the African Union peacekeepers in Somalia, denied AMISOM peacekeepers were killed in the al Shabaab attack on the Aden Adde International Airport.[v]
  • The World Health Organization has reported medics and hospitals in Mogadishu are overwhelmed due to the casualties caused by the violence in Somalia. The already weak health care system has been struggling with the overwhelming increase in wounded Somalis.[vi]
  • Al Shabaab forces reportedly attacked Kenyan forces at the Liboi post in a remote town near the Somali-Kenyan border. Forces from al Shabaab opened fire and threw grenades targeting the Kenyan soldiers before the Kenyan soldiers repelled them and pursued them into Somalia.[vii]
  • Two government soldiers and two civilians were killed and five civilians were wounded by two consecutive roadside bombs in Mogadishu in Scuola Di Polizia in the Hamar Jajab district targeting a government military base.[viii]
  • At the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Somali military, Somali Military Commander General Mohamed Gelle Kahiye stated the Somali troops are ready for the offensive against the Islamist rebels to take back Somalia.[ix]
  • TFG and Puntland representatives signed an agreement harmonizing the Galkayo accord signed August 23, 2009. The agreement stipulates that the two sides have agreed to “strengthen law and order in the mainland and at sea, re-establish and maintain the Somali navy to fight piracy (with its headquarters in Puntland), create opportunities for the jobless and specifically those living along the coastline, clean toxic waste along Somalia’s coastline (especially in Puntland), and sensitize the public against the dangers of piracy in order to end the menace.”[x]
  • The hijacked UAE vessel MV RAK Afrikana, has recovered from engine problems and is now en route to the Somali coast. The European Union Naval Force has sent the ITS Scirocco to tail the hijacked vessel, which has 26 crew members on board.[xi]
  • Recently, Somali pirates have been targeting vessels operated by Somali businessmen and carrying food, which has driven up food prices. Vessel owners, which used to transport basic goods and food, have stopped carrying such commodities, creating food shortages and raising prices.[xii]

[i] “Swiss CSS Warns Against Yemen’s ‘Domestic Conflicts,’” News Yemen, April 12, 2010. Available:
[ii] “Hadramout Court Tries Seven On Drugs Trade,” Yemen News Agency (Saba), April 13, 2010. Available:
[iii] “African Refugees: Never-Ending Crossing to Yemen,” Yemen News Agency (Saba), April 13, 2010. Available:
[iv]31 killed, 100 Wounded in Mogadishu Violence,” Garowe Online, April 13, 2010. Available:
[v] “AU Denies They Lost Peace Keepers in Blast,” Mareeg Online, April 13, 2010. Available:
[vi] “Somalia Casualties Overwhelm Hospitals-WHO,” Reuters, April 13, 2010. Available:
[vii] “Al-Shabaab Once Again Attack Kenyan Forces,” Garowe Online, April 12, 2010. Available:
[viii] “4 Killed in Roadside Bombs in Mogadishu,”
[ix] “Military Commander Says Troops Are Ready for Offensive,” Mareeg Online, April 12, 2010. Available:
[x] “Puntland, TFG Sign Deal to Horminse Galkayo Accord,” Garowe Online, April 12, 2010. Available:
[xi] “Hijacked UAE Ship Heads Towards Somalia,”, April 13, 2010. Available:
[xii] “Pirates Target Food, Pushing Up Prices,” IRIN, April 12, 2010. Available:
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