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: Jamal Benomar briefs the UN Security Council; protests and demonstrations in Sana’a, al Bayda, Hadramawt, and Taiz governorates; security forces arrest three people in Ma’rib governorate; tribal militants surround residence of al Hudaydah governor; Hadi meets with families of victims of the attack; four tribesmen reportedly killed by the 312th Brigade in Ma’rib governorate; Kuwait to give Yemen $50 million for reconstruction

Horn of Africa: Omar Hammami gives interview to Wired Magazine; U.S. sanctions against Somalia extended one year; Kenyan government to withdraw 1,000 troops from Somalia; Uhuru Kenyatta meets with U.S. Ambassador to Kenya; gunmen kill student in Garissa, Kenya; gunmen kill tribal elder in Marka, Lower Shabelle region; gunmen open fire on truck between Marergur and Gudinlabe, Galgudud region; two Kenyan men charged with being members of al Shabaab

Yemen Security Brief

  • UN Special Adviser Jamal Benomar briefed the Security Council on Yemen’s transition on April 4. Benomar praised the start of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) and urged the Yemeni government to take "confidence-building measures" in the south.[1]
  • Thousands of Yemenis protested in Sana’a on April 5, dubbed the Friday "the revolution achieves its goals,” chanting pro-revolutionary slogans and calling for former regime figures and those who killed revolutionaries to be tried.[2]
  • A mass demonstration in al Bayda governorate on April 5 called for an end to the “abuse” of Yemeni expatriates in Saudi Arabia and for the immediate restructuring of the military.[3]
  • Hundreds marched in Sah, Hadramawt governorate on April 4 in support of former Yemeni Vice President Ali Salem al Beidh and Rami al Bar, an activist affiliated with the Southern Movement who was killed last month. They chanted pro-south slogans and denounced the NDC.[4]
  • A mass demonstration in Taiz, Taiz governorate on April 4 commemorated the second anniversary of the 2011 “Bloody Monday” massacre, in which dozens of protesters were killed and wounded by forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.[5]
  • Security forces arrested three people in Ma’rib governorate wanted for security reasons and car theft. Ma’rib security reportedly requested that the Interior Ministry transfer the suspects via military helicopter to Sana’a due to the severity of their crimes and the difficult travel conditions between Ma’rib and Sana’a governorates.[6]
  • Tribal militants from al Mahwit and al Jawf governorates surrounded the residence of Akram ‘Attiyah, the governor of al Hudaydah, on April 3, demanding that he hand over the suspects accused of killing an officer and a soldier from the Central Security Forces (CSF) on April 3. The suspects, who are said to be supporters of the Tihami Movement, were handed over to the judiciary after a deal was reached with the militants. [7]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi arrived in al Hudaydah on April 4, and pledged to prosecute those suspected of carrying out the April 3 attack during a meeting with the families of the victims on April 5. London-based newspaper al Quds al Arabi is reporting that the Tihami militants are loyal to former President Saleh and have spread out across several districts in al Hudaydah.[8]
  • Four tribesmen from the Bani Dabyan and Jehm tribes were reportedly killed by the 312th Brigade in Ma’rib governorate on April 5, according to al Motamar, which is published by the General People’s Congress (GPC).[9]
  • Kuwait granted Yemen $50 million U.S. for reconstruction projects on April 4.[10]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Omar Hammami gave an interview to Wired Magazine’s Danger Room website, published on April 4. He discussed his break with al Shabaab, his presence on Twitter, and his commitment to continuing to wage jihad against U.S. interests.[11]
  • U.S. President Barack Obama extended sanctions against Somalia for one year on April 4. The announcement cited the need to hinder spoilers of the country’s stability.[12]
  • The Kenyan government will withdraw 1,000 troops from Somalia’s Jubba regions, after the deployment of 850 Sierra Leonean troops to Kismayo, Lower Jubba, according to an April 4 announcement by Kenyan military spokesman Cyrus Oguna.[13]
  • Kenyan President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, met with U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Codec on April 5. Codec reportedly relayed a congratulatory message from President Obama.[14]
  • Gunmen shot and killed a student and wounded three other civilians on April 4 in Garissa, Kenya.[15]
  • Gunmen shot and killed Mohamud Mohamed Hussein, also known as Sablaale, a tribal elder in Marka, Lower Shabelle region. The elder had participated in the constitution-adoption process, and in the selection of the federal parliament in 2012.[16]
  • Gunmen manning a roadblock opened fire on and robbed a truck in an area between Marergur and Gudinlabe, Galgudud region on April 5. At least five people were wounded in the incident.[17]
  • Two Kenyan men from Garissa, Yunus Swaleh Salim and Khamisi Juma Hussein, were charged with belonging to al Shabaab in a Nairobi court in Kenya on April 3.[18]      


[1] “Yemen’s transition proceeding but serious challenges remain, says UN envoy,” UN News Centre, April 4, 2013. Available:
[2] “Thousands of Yemenis arriving in Sana’a to participate in the Friday “the revolution achieves its goals,” Al Shorouk, April 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Mass march in solidarity in al Bayda’ in solidarity with Yemeni expatriates,” Akhbar al Yom, April 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Hundreds take part in massive march in Sah, Hadramawt, refusing the “Sana’a dialogue,”’ Aden al Ghad, April 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Taiz revolutionaries mark the second anniversary of the “Bloody Monday” massacre and condemn the attack on the martyrs’ families,” Mareb Press, April 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] Three security suspects arrested in Ma’rib,” Akhbar al Yom, April 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Gunmen besiege the governor’s residence in al Hudaydah, demanding that he hand over the killers of a security officer,” Akhbar al Yom, April 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Gunmen besiege the governor’s residence in al Hudaydah, demanding that he hand over the killers of a security officer,” Akhbar al Yom, April 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“President Hadi: There must be just retribution in the killing of officers and soldiers in al Hudaydah,”, April 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemen: Hadi returns from Russia al Hudaydah to recover it from the control of Saleh’s followers,” Al Quds Al Arabi, April 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Ma’rib: Four people are killed by the 312th Brigade,” Al Motamar, April 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[10] “KFAED grants Yemen USD 50 mln for reconstruction,” KUNA, April 4, 2013. Available:
“Kuwait Fund grants $50 miln for rebuilding damaged areas in Yemen,” Saba Net, April 4, 2013. Available:
[11] Spencer Ackerman, “’There’s No Turning Back’: My Interview With a Hunted American Jihadist,” Wired, April 4, 2013. Available:
[12] Barack Obama, “Letter -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Somalia,” The White House Office of the Press Secretary, April 5, 2013. Available:\
Julian Pecquet, “Obama renews sanctions against Somalia despite new government,” The Hill, April 4, 2013. Available:
[13] “Breaking News: Kenya to Pull-Out a Battalion of Its Troops from Somalia,” Raxan Reeb, April 4, 2013. Available:
[14] “Obama Urges Uhuru, Ruto to build on gains of new constitution,” The Nation, April 5, 2013. Available:
[15] “Student Killed, 3 Injured in Garissa Attack,” Standard Media, April 5, 2013. Available:,-3-injured-in-Garissa-attack
[16] “Somalia: Elder Who Helped Selection of MPs is Assassinated in Marka Town,” Raxan Reeb, April 5, 2013. Available:
[17] “Five Injured in Banditry Attack in Galgadud,” Bar Kulan, April 5, 2013. Available:
[18] “Two Deny Links to al Shabaab Group,” Daily Nation, April 3, 2013. Available:
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