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: Two killed in Shabwah governorate; al Houthi rebels fire on military plane; protestors demonstrate over price increases; Yemeni authorities claim to have confiscated over 600,000 weapons
Horn of Africa: Fighting erupts in Mogadishu; Hizb al Islam bans music in advertisements; Somali Prime Minister holds power sharing talks with Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a; Somali and Ugandan security forces commence training; AMISOM sends police trainers to Somalia; U.S. Admiral: navy vessels cannot end Somali piracy; Puntland vows offensive against pirates
Yemen Security Brief
- A retired Yemeni army colonel and a police officer were killed in separate bomb blasts four hours apart in Shabwah governorate. Both men were killed after explosives were placed in their cars. Yemeni officials believe the bombs were the work of al Qaeda.
- Members of the al Houthi rebel group in northern Yemen, allegedly opened fire on a military plane flying above the city of Sa’ada. While the plane was not hit, the shooting would be the most egregious violation of the two-month long cease-fire between the rebels and the government.
- Thousands of Yemeni citizens protested rising prices of daily goods in the capital city of Sana’a. A crowd of 10,000 gathered in Sana’a stadium to protest a 15% tax increase on certain imported goods. The protesters also called for an end to the violence against southern activists. Protesters also gathered in the city of Taiz, to the south of Sana’a.
- The Yemeni Interior Ministry announced that they have seized over 600,000 weapons since August 2008. The government announced a ban on carrying weapons in the open in major cities in 2007.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Fighting between AMISOM and Islamist forces has erupted in parts of the Mekka al Mukara Street, which connects the Aden Adde International Airport and presidential palace. No casualties have been reported as of yet.
- Moallim Hashi Mohamed Farah, the Hizb al Islam Governor of Mogadishu, issued a new order banning radio stations from playing advertisements containing music. Hizb al Islam had previously banned the playing of music on the radio.
- Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Shama'arke held preliminary talks with Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a in Mogadishu regarding a power sharing agreement between them and the TFG.
- 627 Somali and 120 Ugandan soldiers were distributed at the EU sponsored Bihanga training school in the Ibanda district in western Uganda. Training was split between the two groups; Somali forces were trained in basic military skills, while Ugandan forces were trained in medical and driving skills.
- AMISOM deployed seven police trainers from Ghana, Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria to Mogadishu to train and professionalize the Somali police force. These seven trainers were deployed in advance of the 40 person police training contingent which is being led by AMISOM Deputy Police Commissioner Oliver Somasa.
- U.S. Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Europe and Africa, stated commercial ships should arm themselves to defend against Somali pirates because international warships, specifically the U.S., cannot defend against piracy indefinitely. Due to the overwhelming scope of the problem, the U.S. is calling for greater international action on actively pursuing pirates and their financial trails.
- Puntland authorities have declared an offensive to end piracy along its eastern shore. Along with condemning piracy in the region, Puntland Security Minister Yussuf Ahmed Kheyr stated Puntland has a special unit of forces prepared to “fight and eliminate” pirates within the region.