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: GCC presents new transition plan to Saleh; Saleh urges democratic transition of power; EU-GCC summit calls for political change and supports GCC-mediated transition talks

Horn of Africa: Second day of clashes in Gedo region; TFG-aligned forces capture senior al Shabaab intelligence officer; al Shabaab arrests volunteer health workers; TFG president announces candidacy for upcoming elections

Yemen Security Brief

  • The GCC Secretary-General Abdul Latif bin Rashid al Zayani presented a three-month power-transition plan in which President Ali Abdullah Saleh would transfer executive powers to Vice President Abdul Rabu Mansour al Hadi and then resign from office within thirty days. Presidential elections would be held sixty days after Saleh leaves office. In exchange, Saleh and his relatives would receive immunity from prosecution. The transition plan would also establish a new national unity government whose membership would have the following composition: 50 percent from the General People’s Congress, 40 percent from the Joint Meeting Parties, and 10 percent from unaffiliated parties. Saleh would be able to appoint a new prime minister. The Secretary-General of the Haq party Hassan Zaid said that the “offer awaits the president’s approval;” the president’s office released a statement saying “we welcome this initiative and we will deal with it positively.”[1]
  • President Ali Abdullah Saleh said in a speech that power should be transferred democratically: “Those who want power or to gain the seat of power should do it by heading to the ballot box. Change and departure will be through voting under the legal framework of the constitution.”[2]
  • The EU and GCC released a joint communiqué after the EU-GCC summit in Dubai: “[Delegates] called on all parties in Yemen to urgently forge a meaningful, comprehensive and inclusive agreement on political transition. Dialogue is the only way to make progress on political, economic and social reforms acceptable to all Yemenis...They welcomed and supported the ongoing GCC initiative and efforts to encourage concerned sides in Yemen to urgently reach a political settlement of the current impasse in Yemen.”[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a clashed with al Shabaab in the Gedo region in between the districts of Aboda and Elwaq, especially near the village of Busar. At least three people were killed in the second day of clashes. Both al Shabaab and the Ahlu Sunna claimed to have inflicted massive losses on the other side, but neither has elaborated.[4]
  • Forces allied with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) captured Mohamed Daqal, a senior al Shabaab security and intelligence officer in the Lower Jubba region. Observers hope that the TFG will be able to learn vital information from Daqal that may help the TFG eliminate al Shabaab.[5]
  • Al Shabaab arrested nine volunteer health workers at Hawa Abdi Hospital in the Afgoi corridor. An al Shabaab judge in Wanlaweyn district in the Lower Shabelle region sentenced the workers to between 10 and 15 days in jail. The charges the health workers faced are unknown.[6]
  • TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed announced his candidacy for the upcoming August 2011 presidential elections. Ahmed reassured legislators that he would respect the outcome of the elections, saying that “if a new president is elected, I can’t decline to hand over power.”[7]


[1] “Yemen president ‘offered departure with immunity,’” AFP, April 21, 2011. Available:
“Gulf plan sees 3-month Yemen power transfer: source,” Reuters, April 21, 2011. Available:
[2] “Yemen president vows to remain amid protests,” Reuters, April 20, 2011. Available:
“Yemen’s President, GCC Chief Meet in Effort to Resolve Crisis,” Bloomberg, April 21, 2011. Available:
[3] “21st EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting Abu Dhabi, 20 April 2011,” Council of the European Union, April 20, 2011. Available:
[4] “Somalia: Elwak fighting death toll rises to 10,” Shabelle Media Network, April 20, 2011. Available:
“Somalia: Border town clashes kill 21,” Garowe Online, April 20, 2011. Available:
“Somalia: 3 killed in second day fighting in region,” Shabelle Media Network, April 21, 2011. Available:
[5] Abdi Hajji Hussein, “Senior al Shabaab operative captured alive in southern Somalia fighting,” All Headline News, April 21, 2011. Available:
[6] “Al shabaab arrests volunteer doctors, nurses in southern Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, April 21, 2011. Available:
[7] “Somali President declares interest in the upcoming general elections,” Garowe Online, April 20, 2011. Available:
“Somali president says will run for second term in office,” Shabelle Media Network, April 20, 2011. Available:
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