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 suspected al Qaeda members killed in al Hudaydah; al Houthi rebels deny killing Yemeni soldier; Yemeni Defense Minister onboard plane allegedly targeted by the al Houthis; report: 18 killed by violence in south Yemen in 2010; 130 Somalis come ashore in Yemen; 827,000 Yemenis live in land-mined regions

Horn of Africa: Human Rights Watch: al Shabaab “has brought relative peace and order” to areas under its control; 20 dead, 40 wounded in Mogadishu shelling; 3 killed in Mogadishu shootout; al Shabaab seizes Elberde District; al Shabaab releases Fair for Children of Martyrs video; Hizb al Islam taxes qat trade;  Hizb al Islam imposes new rules on farmers and women; tension rises in the Nugal region; Somaliland court sentences 3 to death and deports 4; Puntland police detain 113 potential migrants; TFG: Kenya pledges military support to fight Islamists; TFG Minister: Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a  - solve security situation in Somalia; Somali radio stations now face possible closure from TFG; TFG and Puntland reportedly unite in fight against piracy

Yemen Security Brief

  • Two suspected members of al Qaeda were killed in a gunfight with police in Hudaydah governorate. A third suspect was arrested. The three men were caught attempting to use fake identity cards to pass a checkpoint, and opened fire as they tried to escape. Two policemen were also wounded.[1]
  • Northern al Houthi rebels denied killing a soldier in the city of Sa’ada on Saturday. The body of the soldier, Namran Suleiman Jaber Hadshan, was found dumped in a well. If the al Houthis were responsible, it would be the most grievous breach of the truce between the rebel group and the government.[2]
  • The Yemeni government is now claiming that the Yemeni Defense Minister was likely on the military plane that al Houthi rebels allegedly fired at last week. While the shooting did not harm the plane, the incident comes amidst rising tensions between the government and the rebel group. The al Houthi group denied responsibility for the shooting.[3]
  • According to a report by the Interior Ministry to the parliament, 18 people have been killed and 120 injured by violence in southern Yemen this year. The unrest was primarily centered in the city of Dhaleh, as well as Lahij and Abyan governorates. [4]
  • Over 130 more Somali refugees have come ashore on the coasts of Taiz and Hadramawt governorates. The Somalis were turned over to refugee camps in Shabwah and Lahij governorates.[5]
  • Approximately 827,000 Yemenis are living in the immediate vicinity of land mines, according to a new report by the National Program to Deal with Mines (NPDM). 5,500 Yemenis have been injured by landmines since 1962.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The US-based group Human Rights Watch released a report claiming that the Islamist rebel group al Shabaab had “brought relative peace and order” to areas under its control but had created a “climate of fear” that included killings, repression, and harsh shari’a law punishments, including amputations.[7]
  • In parts of the Waberi District in Mogadishu, the shelling of the International Airport of Aden Adde by Islamists killed 20 and wounded 40. [8]
  • A shootout in the Medina District in Mogadishu between two government soldiers killed 3 and wounded 5. [9]
  • As TFG troops peacefully left the Elberde District in the southern Somali region of Bakol, al Shabaab seized control of the district and preached to local residents to follow ahari’a law.[10]
  • A video was released by SITE Intelligence Group displaying al Shabaab hosting a fair for the children of “martyrs.” The video shows Omar Hammani AKA Abu Mansour al Amriki, addressing the children, urging them to follow their fathers and instructed mothers to direct their children towards jihad, military sciences, and religious principles. When a cameraman asked a young child who he would kill, the child responded "the infidels." [11]
  • The Islamist rebel group Hizb al Islam imposed a tax on qat, a mild stimulant narcotic drug. Al Shabaab had previously banned the chewing of qat in territories under its control.[12] 
  • Hizb al Islam has imposed new rules on Somali farmers and women. Farmers are no longer allowed to drive their tractors or ploughs, and women now have to wear heavy thick veils instead of light ones.[13]
  • According to local residents, tensions are rising in the Nugal region between two Somali clan militias. The current rise in tension follows conflicts between the two groups which occurred days before and resulted in deaths and injuries.[14]
  • A court in Somaliland sentenced 3 people to death and ordered the deportation of 4 foreigners for four bomb attacks on security forces.[15]
  • Security forces in Bossaso, the commercial capital of Puntland, arrested at least 113 illegal immigrants, 103 Ethiopians and 10 Somalis, off the coast of the  Bandar Ziyada village, who were preparing to cross the Gulf of Aden into Yemen.[16]
  • The Honorable Abdirashid Mohammed Hidig, the State Minister for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, stated Kenya is prepared to fully support the TFG militarily against the Islamist rebels destabilizing Somalia.[17]
  • Sheik Nor Ali Aden, TFG Minister of Justice and Religion, called upon Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a to “play a good role in restoring peace and security” and solve the deteriorating security situation in Somalia.[18]
  • Somali radio stations are facing possible shutdowns from the TFG for adhering to Hizb al Islam’s decree of banning music on the radio. Local radio stations are stuck in the middle of a two way ultimatum between the government and Islamist rebels.[19]
  • Abdiazis Mohamed Irro, TFG Minister of Financial Affairs, stated the TFG and Puntland are going to unify and fight against piracy.[20]

[1] “2 al Qaida Members Killed In Clash With Yemen Army,” AP, April 19, 2010.  Available:
[2] “Yemeni Rebels Deny Killing Yemeni Soldier,” Reuters, April 18, 2010. Available:
[3] “Defense Minister Was Onboard Plane Shot by Houthis,” Yemen Post, April 18, 2010. Available:
[4] “18 Killed in South Yemen Violence This Year: Report,” AFP, April 18, 2010. Available:
[5] “Over 130 Somalis Infiltrate Into Yemen Coasts,” Yemen News Agency (Saba), April 19, 2010. Available:
[6] “Mines a Major Danger,” Yemen Observer, April 18, 2010. Available:
[7] “Harsh War, Harsh Peace,” Human Rights Watch, April 19, 2010. Available:
[8] “20 Die, 40 Injured as Yesterday’s Deadly Shelling, Explosion Rise,” Mareeg Online, April 18, 2010. Available:
[9] “3 Killed as Somali Forces Clash in Mogadishu,” Garowe Online, April 18, 2010. Available:
[10] “Al-shabab Seizes a District in Bakol Region,” Mareeg Online, April 19, 2010. Available:
[11] “Shabaab Video Shows Fair for Children of Martyrs,” SITE, April 15, 2010. Available:
[12] “Hizbul Islam Insurgents Impose Tax on Khat Trade,” Garowe Online, April 18, 2010. Available:
[13] “Islamist Impose New Rules on Farmers and Women in Somalia,” Somaliweyn, April 19, 2010. Available:
[14] “Tense Rises in Parts of Nugal Region,” Mareeg Online, April 17, 2010. Available:
[15] “Somaliland Dishes out Sentences for Bomb Attacks,” Legalbrief, April 19, 2010. Available:
[16] “Puntland Police Detain 113 Would-Be Migrants,” Garowe Online, April 17, 2010. Available:
[17] “TFG says Kenya Pledged for Support to Fight Armed Islamists,” Somaliweyn, April  19, 2010. Available:
[18] “‘We Call Ahlu Sunna to Solve the Situation in Somalia’: Minister,” Mareeg Online, April 19, 2010. Available:
[19] “Radio Stations are Stuck Ultimatums from Rebels & TFG,”, April 19, 2010. Available:
[20] “Minister: ‘TFG and Puntlnad Will Collaborate Fighting with Piracy’,” Mareeg Online, April 18, 2010. Available:
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