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: unidentified gunmen kidnap Yemeni soldier in Shabwah governorate

Horn of Africa: IED attached to solar-powered streetlight detonates in Mogadishu; unidentified assailants attack security checkpoint in Kenya’s North Eastern Province; Somaliland forces withdraw from disputed town in Sool region; additional Ugandan forces deploy to Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a Yemeni soldier in the city of Ataq in Shabwah governorate on April 16.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An improvised explosive device (IED) attached to a solar-powered streetlight detonated in the Hodan district of Mogadishu on April 15. The blast killed at least one person and injured five others. It is unclear whether the target of the explosion was the streetlight or the people in its vicinity. Although no group claimed responsibility for the attack, officials have blamed al Shabaab for targeting solar-powered streetlights in the past.[2]
  • Unidentified assailants attacked a security checkpoint in Wajir in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on April 16. The assailants tossed grenades and fired upon the checkpoint before seizing firearms and ammunition from the police stationed there. Despite the grenade blasts and gunfire, no injuries were reported. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.[3]
  • Somaliland forces withdrew from the disputed town of Taleh in Sool region on April 16. The withdrawal came after the Puntland administration threatened a military response to Somaliland’s April 15 seizure of the town and the international community, specifically the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the U.S. government, urged both parties to avoid confrontation.[4]
  • The Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) deployed 70 specially trained soldiers to Mogadishu on April 17. The 70 troops are the first of the 400 soldier Ugandan contingent, mandated by the United Nations (UN) in February, to arrive in Mogadishu. The contingent’s mission is to secure and protect UNSOM personnel and installations throughout the country.[5]

[1] Mohamed al Samei, “Soldier abducted in southern Yemen,” Turkish Press, April 17, 2014. Available:
[2] “Solar streetlight bombing kills 1, injures 5 in Mogadishu,” Sabahi Online, April 16, 2014. Available:
“Blasts target Mogadishu solar street lights, injuring 2 people,” Sabahi Online, August 2, 2013. Available:
[3] “Wajir security checkpoint attacked, no injuries reported,” Sabahi Online, April 16, 2014. Available:
[4] “SOMALIA: Somaliland forces withdraw from Taleh after brief seizure,” RBC Radio, April 17, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Somaliland forces withdraw from historic town of Taleh,” Garowe Online, April 16, 2014. Available:
[5] “Ugandan troops to guard U.N. in Somalia,” Anadolu Agency, April 16, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: More Ugandan soldiers deployed into Mogadishu to guard UN bases,” RBC Radio, April 17, 2014. Available:
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