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: New Zealanders trained with AQAP, says New Zealand minister; drone strike kills four in Hadramawt; President Hadi meets with Foreign Relations Committee; renewed clashes between al Houthis and tribesmen in Ibb; Saudi border guards kill smuggler; demonstrators cut off road in al Hudaydah; MSF withdraws staff from Khamr, Amran

Horn of Africa: Somalia signs deal to form new coast guard force to combat piracy; Somali rights group registers complaint with ICC; IEDs destroy street lamps in Mogadishu; al Shabaab suspects rounded up in Mogadishu; security forces clash internally at Banadir junction, Mogadishu;  Iranian sailors released from Puntland detention; Shirdon accused of preparing for renewed fighting in Kismayo; Puntland announces heightened state of alert; grenade attack in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle; al Shabaab suspects rounded up in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle; al Shabaab attacks Somali and AMISOM forces in Garbaharey, Gedo region; al Shabaab plotting attacks in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; Somali forces arrest al Shabaab suspects in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; AMISOM police forces deploy to Baidoa, Bay region

Yemen Security Brief

  • New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on August 1 that he signed arrest warrants for New Zealanders currently training at al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) camps in Yemen. He did not specify how many there were, but he said that the suspects are being monitored.[1]
  • A drone strike, the third in five days, killed four members of AQAP in Wadi Ser, Hadramawt governorate on August  1.[2]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with Senators from the Foreign Relations Committee on July 31. They discussed steps taken as part of the GCC initiative and continued U.S. support for Yemen in its fight against terrorism.[3]
  • Clashes broke out again between al Houthis and tribesmen in al Radma, Ibb governorate on July 31, after al Houthis rejected a truce brokered by tribal mediators.[4]
  • Saudi border guards killed a Yemeni qat smuggler on July 31 in al Hasama, on the Saudi-Yemen border. They arrested four others.[5]
  • Clashes between security forces and demonstrators cutting off the Taiz-al Hudaydah road in Hajda, Taiz governorate wounded three protesters and one soldier on August 1. The demonstrators were protesting that their region was not connected to the public electricity grid.[6]
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) withdrew staff from a hospital in Khamr, Amran governorate on July 31. They said local militants threatened them, and two doctors were attacked on July 20.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Review

  • The Somali Minister of Defense signed a contract on July 30 with the Atlantic Marine and Offshore Group to help develop a coast guard to combat piracy. There were no details about the size of the force, only that it will comprise “long-range patrol vessels and high-speed intervention vessels.”[8]
  • The NGO Somali Rights registered a complaint on July 30 with the International Criminal Court (ICC) alleging that the Kenyan military committed human rights abuses in Jubbaland. The complaint accused military commanders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, of “war crimes and crimes against humanity including torture, massacre, illegal use of excessive force, rape, destruction of property and displacement of civilians."[9]
  • Two remote-controlled improvised explosive devices (IEDs) destroyed solar-powered street lamps on Maka al Mukarama road in Mogadishu on the morning of August 1. The explosions wounded two civilians. Security forces closed off roads and restricted traffic in busy districts of the city after the explosions.[10]
  • Wadajir district security officer Mo’alim Mohamud Saney announced the detention of a group of suspected al Shabaab members in Mogadishu on July 31.[11]
  • Fighting between security forces broke out at Banadir junction in Mogadishu on August 1, resulting in the death of one soldier and two civilians. The conflict began after police established a checkpoint near the junction.[12]
  • The Iranian Foreign Ministry secured the release on July 30 of 78 Iranian sailors detained by the Puntland government.[13]
  • A spokesperson for the Jubbaland government accused the Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon of preparing forces for an assault on Kismayo.[14]
  • The Puntland government announced a state of high alert on July 31 in anticipation of increased attacks as Ramadan ends.[15]
  • A grenade attack wounded two Somali troops in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on July 30.[16]
  • Somali forces supported by AMISOM captured 11 suspected al Shabaab fighters along with a cache of weapons in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on July 29.[17]
  • Al Shabaab attacked positions held by Somali and Ethiopian forces in Garbaharey, Gedo region with heavy weaponry on July 29. Neither side reported casualties.[18]
  • Al Shabaab is plotting to carry out attacks in Beledweyne, Hiraan region, according to a statement made by Hiraan Police Chief Colonel Isaq Ali Abdulle on July 31.[19]
  • Somali forces arrested two suspected al Shabaab members during security sweeps in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on August 1, according to a statement by Colonel Abdulle.[20]
  • AMISOM police forces composed of Ghanaian and Nigerian officers moved to Baidoa, Bay region in late July.[21]

[1] “Al Qaeda-Trained People in NZ, Says Key,” Radio NZ, August 1, 2013. Available:,-says-key
[2] “New U.S. Drone Strike in Yemen as Hadi to Meet Obama,” Fox News, August 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “President Meets With U.S. Senate Members,” Saba News, August 1, 2013. Available:
[4] “Clashes Break Out Between al Houthis and Tribes in al Radma after al Houthis Refuse to Sign a Truce Between the Two Sides,” Hour News, August 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Continued Flowing of Yemeni Blood on the Saudi Border,” Yemen Saeed, August 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Breaking: Wounded in Clashes Between Security and Protesters in Hajdah Region After They Cut off Taiz Hudaydah Road,” Yemen Saeed, August 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Doctors Without Borders Withdraws its Crew From Hospital in Khamar After Receiving Threats,” Barakish, August 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Somalia to Set Up Coastguard to Protect Resources: Presidency,” AFP, August 1, 2013. Available:
[9] “Somali Rights Files Complaint Against Kenyan Military at the Hague,” Bar Kulan, August 1, 2013. Available:
[10] “Mogadishu explosions target solar-powered street lights, injuring 2 pedestrians,” Bar Kulan, August 1, 2013. Available:
“Major roads in Mogadishu closed for security reasons,” Shabelle Media Network, August 1, 2013. Available:
[11] “Wadajir district administration claims arrest of al Shabaab suspects,” Somalia Media Monitoring, July 31, 2013. Available:
[12] “Fighting between government forces kills three people,” Dalsan Radio, August 1, 2013. Available:
[13] “Deputy FM acknowledges release of 78 Iranian sailors in Somalia,” Bar Kulan, August 1, 2013. Available:
[14] “Jubbaland Accuses Somali Prime Minister of Mobilizing Troops To Resume Fighting in Kismaayo,” Warqaad, July 27, 2013. Available:
[15] “Somalia: Puntland security agencies on high alert for possible terror attacks,” Garowe Online, July 31, 2013. Available:
[16] “Somalia: Explosion Wounds Two Government Soldiers in Jowhar Town,” London Universal TV Online, July 30, 2013. Available:
[17] “Somali Government Troops, AU Forces Detain Al-Shabaab Fighters in Jowhar,” London Universal TV Online, July 29, 2013. Available:
[18] “Somalia: Al-Shabaab Attacks Gedo Regional Headquarters, Garbahaarey,” London Universal TV Online, July 29, 2013. Available:
[19] “Regional Police Chief Says Militants Infiltrate Beledweyne To Carry Out Bombings,” Markacadey, July 31, 2013. Available:
[20] “2 alleged Al-Shabaab sympathizers arrested in Beled-weyne,” Bar Kulan, August 1, 2013. Available:
[21] “AU police deployed to southwestern Somali town,” Midnimo, July 31, 2013. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Aug '13
Jul '13