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: Tribal mediators broker al Houthi truce in Dhamar; AQAP releases video; Yemeni and U.S. military officials meet at Pentagon; unidentified gunmen kill Yemeni soldier in Hadramawt; unidentified gunmen kill citizen in Sana’a
Horn of Africa: al Shabaab militants attack AMISOM and SNA forces in Galgudud region; car bomb kills district official in Mogadishu; SNA factions clash in Middle Shabelle region
Yemen Security Brief
- Tribal mediators brokered a truce on April 6 to end recent clashes between Salafis in Samh village and al Houthi tribesmen in Wazze village, in Dhuran district in Dhamar governorate. Reports indicate that clashes began when al Houthi slogans were removed from roads in the district, inciting some al Houthi tribesmen in Wazze to open fire on residents in Samh. The director of Dhuran district reported that two Wazze residents, and three Samh residents were killed, and five others were injured in the clashes. Yemeni security forces in Dhamar governorate did not intervene in the clashes, per the request of local tribal leaders.
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video titled, “The Believers are Brothers,” to jihadi forums on April 7. Produced by AQAP’s media arm, al Malahem Media Foundation, the twenty minute video contains an audio lecture by AQAP religious official Harith bin Ghazi al Nadhari, in which he calls on Muslims to stop fighting one another and to avoid the evil of sedition. Sources suggest that the video may serve as an indirect commentary on the conflict in Syria.
- Yemeni and U.S. military officials met at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on the evening of April 8. Yemeni Major General Ahmed Ali al Ashwal and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey discussed aspects of security and military cooperation between Yemen and the U.S.
- Unidentified gunmen killed a Yemeni soldier guarding an oil facility in Hadramawt governorate on April 8. Further details surrounding the event remain unclear.
- Unidentified gunmen killed a Yemeni citizen in Sana’a capital on April 9. Local sources report that Yemeni security forces caught two of the gunmen and two others escaped. The victim may have worked in the field of trade.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab militants attacked AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces stationed in El Bur in Galgudud region on April 8. The militants initiated the attack with mortar fire before directly assaulting the town. AMISOM and SNA forces repelled the attack, claiming to suffer no casualties during the fighting.
- A car bomb killed the Secretary of Wadajir district, Mohamud Abu Haji, in Mogadishu on April 9. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast. Haji’s death comes after a flurry of targeted violence throughout Somalia on April 8. A teacher of the Quran was killed by assailants in the Wardhigley district of Mogadishu. Separately, gunmen fired upon and injured a Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency official, Hassan Dahir, in the Hawl Wadag district of Mogadishu. Finally, gunmen killed a prominent elder in Beled Hawo in Gedo region. The identities and motivations of the respective assailants remain unclear.
- Factions within the SNA clashed in Jowhar in Middle Shabelle region on April 9, injuring three soldiers. The fighting, similar to the April 5 confrontation near El Ade in Middle Shabelle region, was prompted by a disagreement over the operation of traffic checkpoints.