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: Jewish Agency smuggles 17 Jews out of Yemen; tribesmen arrest al Houthis in Ibb; security forces launch campaign of arrests; Noman Dowaid returns to Yemen; Ansar Allah issues statement; Salafists prepare for war in Damaj; Southern Movement needs three day hiatus from NDC; gunmen attack checkpoint in Lahij

Horn of Africa: African Union will investigate AMISOM rape allegations; explosion in Bakara Market, Mogadishu; government troops clash with al Shabaab in Hudur, Bakool; al Shabaab loots MSF hospitals; EAEF opposes deal with Soma Oil and Gas

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Jewish Agency secretly helped 17 Yemeni Jews leave Yemen on August 14. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has targeted the Jewish community in Yemen in the past, and the Jewish Agency said it was working to help Yemeni Jews immigrate to Israel.[1]
  • Tribesmen in al Radma, Ibb governorate arrested 13 al Houthis on a bus from Sa’ada on August 15. Local sources claimed the al Houthis were coming to create conflict in the region.[2]
  • On August 13 Security forces arrested 74 people accused of various crimes in a number of governorates throughout the country. Three died and 25 were injured during the wave of arrests.[3]
  • Noman Dowaid, one of the leaders of the General People’s Congress (GPC), returned to Yemen on August 15. He was greeted at Sana’a airport by a massive rally in his honor. Dowaid was wounded in the 2011 presidential mosque bombing that also wounded former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.[4]
  • Ansar Allah, the militant arm of the al Houthis, announced what it believes are three points critical for Yemen to exit from its current crisis. The three points are: immediately implement the NDC’s 31 points, pay attention to the southern issue, and make sure not to skip important issues such as the south, Sa’ada, and state building.[5]
  • A Salafist source preferring not to be named claimed that there are 10,000 Salafist fighters and 2,000 foreign fighters studying in Damaj, Sa’ada in addition to 100,000 in other regions ready to fight against al Houthis. He said Salafists must be prepared to defend themselves against al Houthis.[6]
  • Sultan al Atawani, the vice president of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), denied rumors on August 15 that Southern Movement representatives had withdrawn from the NDC. He said that Southern Movement leaders merely needed two or three days to consult.[7]
  • Gunmen wounded soldiers at a military checkpoint in Karash, Lahij governorate on August 15.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The African Union announced on August 15 that it will launch a joint investigation with Somalia into allegations that AMISOM forces repeatedly raped a Somali woman on August 8.[9]
  • An explosion in Bakara Market, Mogadishu injured three people including businessman Husein Goley on August 15. No party claimed responsibility for the attack.[10]
  • Government forces supported by Ethiopian allies clashed with al Shabaab in Hudur, Bakool region on August 14. Government officials told Shabelle Media Network that the skirmish killed several al Shabaab militants.[11]
  • Al Shabaab took over Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospitals in Dinsor, Bay region and Marere, Middle Jubba region on August 14 after MSF announced its withdrawal from Somalia that same day. Locals say al Shabaab militants seized all the equipment in the hospitals.[12]
  • The East African Energy Forum (EAEF) announced its opposition to a deal between the Federal Government of Somalia and British company Soma Oil and Gas. The EAEF said that it conducted an investigation which determined the deal to be against Somali’s best interests, calling the deal corrupt and biased.[13]   

[1] “Israeli Group Brings 17 Yemeni Jews to Israel,” AP, August 15, 2013. Available:
[2] “Tribes in al Radma Arrest al Houthis Coming From Sa’ada and Places Them In Detention Camp,” al Khabar Now, August 15, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:  
[3] “Detention of 74 Suspects Pending Cases for Different Crimes,” Yemen Saeed, August 15, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:  
[4] “Naiman Dawid Arrives at Sana’a Airport in the Midst of Massive Reception,” Al Watan Ye, August 15, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:  
[5] Ansar Allah Issues Statement About the National Dialogue and Proposes Three Points (Text of the Statement),” Wefaq Press, August 15, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:  
[6] Salafist Source: 10, 000 Salafist Fighters and 2,000 Foreign Fighters Ready to Face al Houthis,” Al Bald News, August 15, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:  
[7] “Al Atawani: Talk of Southern Movement’s Withdrawal is an Attempt to Disrupt the National Dialogue,” al Wahidawi, August 15, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8]  “Breaking: Unknown Elements Attack Military Checkpoint in Karash, following al Subaihi’s Warnings About al Qaeda”, Huna Aden, August 15, 2013. Available:
[9] “African Union Troops Accused of Somali Gang Rape,” Hiraan Online, August 15, 2013. Available:
[10] “A Well Known Businessman Injured in Mogadishu Blast,” Shabelle, August 15, 2013. Available:  
[11] “Somalia: Heavy Fighting Erupts in Xudur, Bakol Region,” Shabelle, August 15, 2013. Available:  
[12] “Al Shabaab Takes Over MSF Hospitals in Dinsor and Marerey,” Bar Kulan, August 15, 2013. Available:  
[13] “EAEF Moves to Oppose Soma Oil and Gas Deal,” Bar Kulan, August 15, 2013. Available:
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