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: Jihadist tweets that AQAP leader Said al Shihri alive and well; former President Saleh in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment; police clash with gunmen in Yerim, Ibb governorate; southern and northern students clash at al Hudaydah Naval Academy; prominent Islah Party leader dies of natural causes; President Hadi travels to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin; gunmen kill security official in Ghayl Ba Wazir, Hadramawt governorate; explosion reported inside Political Security building in al Hawta, Lahij governorate; al Hudaydah port workers demonstrate; tribal gunmen clash in Wadi al Madam, Taiz governorate; Turkish government suspends visa requirement for Yemeni nationals as of May 1; Saudi Arabia deports Yemeni workers; separatist gunmen attack government building in al Dhaleh city

Horn of Africa: Two improvised explosive devices explode near Ministry of Defense in Mogadishu; gunmen attack and kill police officers in Garissa, Kenya; Turkish government invites Somali and Somaliland officials to Turkey for mediation; AMISOM troops arrive in Baidoa, Bay region; Somali forces arrest two suspected al Shabaab fighters in Koshin, Beledweyne; improvised explosive device discovered aboard minibus in Nairobi, Kenya; al Shabaab and Mombasa Republican Council accused of colluding; Somali President Mohamud meets with African Union Commission on Somalia chairman; Mohamed Abdi Kalil appointed interim governor of Gedo

Yemen Security Brief

  • Jihadist Abu Sa’ad al ‘Aamili tweeted that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) deputy leader Said al Shihri, who had been reported killed, is alive and well on April 1.[1]
  • Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh traveled from Yemen to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment for injuries sustained in a June 2011 bomb blast on his home, on April 1.[2]
  • Police clashed with gunmen wanted by the government in Yerim, Ibb governorate on April 1. One police officer and one gunman were killed in the incident.[3]
  • Southern and northern students clashed at the Naval Academy in al Hudaydah governorate on April 1. More than thirty were injured in the incident.[4]
  • Prominent Islah Party leader Dr. Abdul Azim al ‘Omri died of natural causes on April 1.[5]
  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi traveled to Moscow, Russia to meet with Russian officials including Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 1.[6]
  • Gunmen shot and killed Colonel Ahmed al Raidi, a security official, in Ghayl Ba Wazir, Hadramawt governorate on April 1.[7]
  • An explosion was reported from inside the Political Security building in al Hawta, Lahij governorate on April 2.[8]
  • Port workers staged violent protests in the port of al Hudaydah on April 2, during a visit by the Minister of Transport. [9]
  • Gunmen from the al Daba’i and Makrad families clashed in Wadi al Madam, Taiz governorate on April 1. Two were killed and three wounded in the incident.[10]
  • Yemeni nationals will not need a visa to enter Turkey for trips shorter than 90 days beginning on May 1, according to an announcement issued April 1 by the Turkish Embassy in Sana’a.[11]
  • Thousands of Yemeni workers are being deported from Saudi Arabia according to new regulations requiring all guest workers to be employed by their sponsors, according to an April 1 statement by a Yemeni official.[12]
  • Secessionist gunmen surrounded a government complex in al Dhaleh city, al Dhaleh governorate on March 31. Southern Movement leaders had announced a period of civil disobedience the day before.[13]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exploded near the Ministry of Defense in Mogadishu on April 2. Casualty statistics are forthcoming.[14]
  • Gunmen attacked police officers in Garissa, Kenya on April 2, throwing a grenade at a group of officers and then shooting them. At least two Kenyan police officers were killed in the incident.[15]
  • The Turkish government invited Somali and Somaliland officials to have talks in Turkey in mid-April, according to a statement from Somaliland Mohammed Abdullahi Omar in Hargeisa on April 1.[16]
  • AMISOM troops arrived in Baidoa, Bay region and set up bases in the city on April 2.[17]
  • Somali forces arrested two suspected al Shabaab fighters in the Koshin neighborhood of Beledweyne, Hiraan region on April 1.[18]
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) was discovered aboard a minibus in Nairobi, Kenya on March 31.[19]
  • Al Shabaab and the Mombasa Republican Council have been colluding, according to a March 30 statement from Coast Commissioner Samuel Kilele. The Mombasa Republican Council subsequently denied the allegations.[20]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with Mahamat Annadif, Chairperson of the African Union Commission on Somalia, in Mogadishu on April 2.[21]
  • Mohammed Abdi Kalil was appointed interim governor of Gedo region, Somalia on April 1.[22]   

[1] Tweet from Abu Sa’ad al ‘Aamili, Twitter, April 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Saleh Leaves for Saudi Arabia for Medical Treatment and Calls on Yemeni Youth to Exercise and Stop Chewing Qat,” al Masdar Online, April 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] Mahmoud Taher Hamzi, “Policeman and Gunman Killed in Yerim, Ibb During Gunfight Between Soldiers and Wanted Individuals,” al Masdar Online, April 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Dozens Injured in a Violent Sectarian Fight in the Maritime College in al Hudaydah,” al Masdar Online, April 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Islah Mourns Prominent Leader Abdul Azim al ‘Omri,” al Masdar Online, April 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Yemeni President Arrives in Moscow, Will Meet with Russian Counterpart Tuesday Afternoon,” al Masdar Online, April 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Security Official Killed by Unknown Gunmen in Gheyl Bawazir, Hadramawt,” al Masdar Online, April 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Breaking: Violent Explosion in the Lahij Political Security Building,” Barakish Net, April 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Breaking: Fire and Chaos While Minister of Transport Attending Ceremony in Port of al Hudaydah,” Barakish Net, April 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[10] “Five Civilians Killed and Injured in Armed Clashes in Taiz,” Barakish Net, April 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[11] “No Visa Rule to Turkey – May 1st, 2013,” Yemen Post, April 1, 2013. Available:
[12] Mohammed Ghobari, “Saudi deports thousands of Yemenis, remittances to suffer-official,” Reuters, April 1, 2013. Available:
[13] “Al Dhaleh: Gunmen close government complex and impose complete paralysis in courts,” Mareb Press, April 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[14] “Blasts Occur Near Ministry of Defense Offices in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, April 2, 2013. Available:
[15] “Gunmen Kill Two Kenyan Police Officers in Garissa,” Bar Kulan, April 2, 2013. Available:
[16] “Somalia: Turkish Government to Mediate Somalia and Somaliland,” Raxan Reeb, April 2, 2013. Available:
[17] “AMISOM Troops Arrive at Bay Region,” Shabelle, April 2, 2013. Available:
[18] “Alleged Militants Arrested in Beledweyne,” Bar Kulan, April 2, 2013. Available:
[19] “Police Launch Search for Criminals Linked to Fail Bus Bombing Bid,” The Nation, March 31, 2013. Available: 
[20] “MRC, Shabaab Working Together,  Coast PC,” The Star, March 30, 2013. Available:
“MRC Denies Link with Shabaab,” The Star, April 1, 2013. Available:
[21] “President Mohamud Hosts AU Commission Chairman in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, April 2, 2013. Available:
[22] “Somalia: New Interim Administration for Gedo Region,” Raxan Reeb, April 1, 2013. Available:
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