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: AQAP militants kill two soldiers in Abyan attack; GPC officially approves GCC transition plan; protestors launch general strikes in 18 cities; one protestor and two soldiers killed in Aden clashes; Ban Ki-moon urges Yemeni government to eschew violent repression

Horn of Africa: Roadside bomb kills 15 people in Gedo region; Kenyan police are searching for three would-be suicide bombers; Ahlu Sunna kills twenty al Shabaab in Gedo region; al Shabaab kills four soldiers in Luq ambush

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants killed two Yemeni soldiers and wounded five others in Abyan. AQAP militants attacked a military vehicle with rocket-propelled grenades at the Musaimeer military checkpoint on the road to Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate. AQAP militants also captured the intelligence headquarters in Lawder in Abyan governorate.  The 111 Brigade, which mans the Musaimeer checkpoint, had reportedly reached a one-month truce with AQAP forces through the help of local tribes. A security officer said that the attacks violated the terms of the truce.[1]
  • The General People’s Congress (GPC), Yemen’s ruling party, officially approved the GCC’s transition plan, which is to be signed on May 1 in Riyadh. The opposition has voiced concerns over the fact that President Ali Abdullah Saleh will not be traveling to Saudi Arabia to sign the agreement himself.[2]
  • Anti-government demonstrations continue in at least 18 cities and towns in Yemen. Protestors have blocked access to Hudaydah’s port. The Yemeni Coast Guard reportedly stood by the protestors. In Aden, clashes between Republican Guard units and protestors killed one protestor and two soldiers. Dozens of other people were reported to be injured.[3]
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Yemeni government to eschew employing violence against protestors. Ki-moon said, “I call once again for an immediate end to the violence against peaceful protesters. Yemen's problems can only be resolved through peaceful and inclusive dialogue. I hope that negotiations between the government and other parties will result in an agreement acceptable to all."[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A roadside mine killed 15 people in Gedo on the road between Elberde and Luq. The landmine detonated underneath a minibus, killing nine passengers immediately. Six passengers subsequently died from blood loss. It is not clear whether the mine was old or recently placed by al Shabaab.[5]
  • A Kenyan police spokesman, Eric Kiraithe, said that authorities are searching for three individuals. Kiraithe said, “Two are Kenyan and known to have been trained in Somalia and are now back in Kenya while the nationality of the other one is unknown.”[6]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a fighters clashed with al Shabaab militants in Tulo-Barwaqo in the southern Gedo region. Sheikh Mohammed Hussein al Qadi, an Ahlu Sunna spokesman, reported that Ahlu Sunna fighters captured “assault rifles, pistols, explosive devices and … two military vehicles” and had killed about twenty al Shabaab militants.[7]
  • Al Shabaab attacked Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops in Luq using hit-and-run tactics, killing four soldiers. An al Shabaab spokesman claimed TFG troops had suffered “heavy losses.”[8]

Mohammed Ghobari, "Yemen protesters block port as sides inch toward deal," Reuters, April 27, 2011. Available:
“Al-Qaeda in Yemen kills military amid tribal-brokered truce,” Yemen Observer, April 27, 2011. Available:
[2] "Government in Yemen Agrees to Talk Transition," New York Times, April 26, 2011. Available:
“Gulf Cooperation Council Foreign Ministers Hold an Extraordinary Meeting to Complete the Procedures for the Gulf’s Yemen Initiative,” GCC Statement (Arabic), April 26, 2011. Available:
Mohammed Ghobari, "Yemen protesters block port as sides inch toward deal," Reuters, April 27, 2011. Available:
[4] “New York, 26 April 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks at Press Encounter,” UN, April 26, 2011. Available:
[5] "Official: Explosion kills 8 people in Somalia," AP, April 27, 2011. Available:
Shafi'i Abokar, "Road blast kills 15 civilians in southern Somalia," All Headline News, April 27, 2011. Available:
"Al shabaab accused of being responsible for a deadly blast in Somalia," Shabelle Media Network, April 27, 2011. Available:
"Landmine kills 8 in southern Somalia," Garowe Online, April 27, 2011. Available:
[6] "Kenyan police hunt suspected would be bombers," Reuters, April 27, 2011. Available:
[7] "Somali forces, Al shabaab clash in southern Somalia," Shabelle Media Network, April 27, 2011. Available:
“20 al Shabaab militants killed in southern Somali fighting: Official,” All Headline News, April 27, 2011
[8] “20 al Shabaab militants killed in southern Somali fighting: Official,” All Headline News, April 27, 2011
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