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: IED explodes in Sana’a; Yemeni government signs grant agreement with UN

Horn of Africa: Somali police conduct security operations in Hiraan region and Mogadishu; AMISOM and SNA forces attack al Shabaab militants in Bakool region; SNA factions clash in Middle Shabelle region; AMISOM and SNA forces clash with al Shabaab in Lower Shabelle region; AMISOM and SNA forces seize town in Galgudud region; gunman kills UN workers in Mudug region

Yemen Security Brief

  • A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) exploded and injured a Yemeni government aide and three security guards as they were driving through the capital of Sana’a on April 5. No group has taken responsibility for the IED.[1]
  • The Yemeni government signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Fund on April 6 for 7.3 million dollars in grants to support the political transition process in Yemen and other humanitarian endeavors.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali police arrested twenty-two suspected al Shabaab militants in Beledweyne in Hiraan region on April 4. The suspects were travelling near Beledweyne when they were intercepted by police. Separately, Somali police conducted a security operation in the Dharkenley, Hodan, and Karan districts of Mogadishu on April 7. The police arrested seventeen suspects for unlawfully possessing police uniforms during the operation.[3]
  • Ethiopian AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces attacked an al Shabaab base in the Wajid district of Bakool region on April 4. Somali government officials reported that al Shabaab suffered both losses and casualties during the fighting without specifying exact figures.[4]
  • Rival factions within the SNA exchanged gunfire at a checkpoint in El Ade in Middle Shabelle region on April 5. The fighting occurred after one group of soldiers ordered the other group to disassemble an unauthorized roadblock. Five SNA soldiers, including an unidentified commander, were killed and nine more wounded in the exchange of fire.[5]
  • AMISOM and SNA forces clashed with al Shabaab militants near Marka in Lower Shabelle region on April 6. The fighting occurred after al Shabaab militants attacked an AMISOM and SNA base near the town. Separately, SNA forces attacked an al Shabaab base near Mahaday in Lower Shabelle region on April 7. Although reports indicate losses were suffered during each confrontation, the extent of the casualties remains unknown.[6]
  • AMISOM and SNA forces seized Wabho in Galgudud region from al Shabaab on April 6 after several days of fighting. The two sides clashed near the towns of Wabho, El Bur, and Mahas before al Shabaab fled the area, allowing AMISOM and SNA forces to seize Wabho. A Somali government official in Galgudud, Abdihakim Abdullahi, reported that at least thirty al Shabaab militants were killed and twenty more wounded during the fighting. In response, al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, presented the bodies of two deceased Ethiopian AMISOM soldiers in pictures posted to the group’s Facebook page, claiming the soldiers were killed during the fighting.[7]
  • An unidentified gunman, believed to be an airport security guard, killed two foreign United Nations employees in Galkayo’s Abdullahi Yusuf airport in Mudug region on April 7. The victims, a Briton and a Frenchman, were scheduled to meet with Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas in Galkayo as representatives for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The motive of the gunman remains unclear, although reporting indicates the individual had been prone to violence in the past.[8]

[1] “Bomb wounds senior military advisor’s aide in Yemen,” Reuters, April 5, 2014. Available:
[2] “U.N. offers Yemen $7.2mn in grants,” World Bulletin, April 4, 2014. Available:
[3] “22 Al-Shabaab militans suspects arrested in Beledweyn,” Bar Kulan, April 4, 2014. Available:
“17 people arrested in Mogadishu security operation,” Bar Kulan, April 7, 2014. Available:
[4] “Battle erupts as Al-Shabaab military base in Bakool gets attacked,” Shabelle News, April 5, 2014. Available:
[5] “Somalia: 5 Federal Govt soldiers killed at checkpoint in Middle Shabelle region,” Garowe Online, April 5, 2014. Available:
[6] “Gov’t base on the outskirts of Marka attacked,” Shabelle News, April 6, 2014. Available:
“Physical confrontations last night in Mahaday,” Shabelle News, April 7, 2014. Available:
[7] “SOMALIA: Gov’t army backed by AU forces seize Wabxo town from Al Shabab,” RBC Radio, April 6, 2014. Available:
“More than 30 Al-Shabaab militant group killed in central Somalia,” Bar Kulan, April 6, 2014. Available:
“Al Shabab says they have killed Ethiopian soldiers near Wabho town,” Dalsan Radio, April 7, 2014. Available:
[8] “Two UN workers, including one Briton killed in central Somalia,” Somalia Media Monitoring, April 7, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Briton, French gunned down at Galkayo airport,” Garowe Online, April 7, 2014. Available:
“Briton one of two UN workers shot dead in Somalia,” BBC, April 7, 2014. Available:
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