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: Two senior commanders relieved from duty in Shabwah following al Qaeda attack; Iranian Navy escorted seven ships to Bab al Mandab, calls for withdrawal of foreign presence

Horn of Africa: Mortar fire near KM-13 village kills five people and wounds fifteen others; Joint Security Meeting establishes framework for stability; al Shabaab in Middle Shabelle region closes mosque

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni Interior Ministry replaced two senior commanders for failing to execute their jobs.  A statement said that the two commanders did not reform the security apparatus to effectively combat the threat from al Qaeda or the foresight to prevent the attacks in Shabwah province last month that killed six soldiers.[1]
  • Iranian Naval Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that the Iranian Navy had escorted an Iranian ship and six other foreign ships through the Bab al Mandab Straits two weeks ago.  Additionally, he called on regional countries to seek to establish security within the region and for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the region, saying that the “presence of the aliens has born no fruit but instability.”[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An exchange of mortar fire between AMISOM forces and Islamist militants at a new military base in Kahda between Afgoi and Hosh districts killed five people and wounded at least fifteen others, according to residents of the KM-13 village outside of Mogadishu.[3]
  • Somalia’s Joint Security Committee (JSC) met on August 7 and 8 to discuss the framework for achieving security in Somalia.  Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke and UN Special Representative to Somalia Augustine Mahige co-chaired the JSC.  The JSC has urged the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to continue supporting institutional development and has called on the African Union and the Eastern-bloc of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to support the TFG and AMISOM.[4]
  • Al Shabaab in the Middle Shabelle region closed the oldest mosque in the Mahaday district.   Residents report that the mosque is now locked.  Worshippers at the mosque have denounced the move and are demanding that al Shabaab reopen it to them.[5]

[1] “Senior Officers Dismissed for Shabwa Attack,” Yemen Post, August 9, 2010.  Available:
[2] “Iranian Warships in Gulf of Aden Escort 6 Foreign Cargo Ships,” Fars News Agency, August 10, 2010.  Available:
[3] “5 Die, 15 Others Wounded Out of Mogadishu, AMISOM Makes New Military Base,” Mareeg Online, August 10, 2010.  Available:,-15-others-wounded-out-of-Mogadishu,-AMISOM-makes-new-military-base&sid=16926&tirsan=3
[4] “Communique of the Joint Security Committee,” Mareeg Online, August 9, 2010.  Available:
[5] “Al-Shabab Pulls the Plug on an Old Sacred Mosque in Mahaday District,” Somaliweyn Media Center, August 9, 2010.  Available:
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