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: Rival militant groups contest control of Jaar; overnight fighting in Arhab kills 23 tribesmen; new evidence may link Iran to AQAP; al Houthi meeting targeted by explosion

Horn of Africa: Burundi may deploy additional troops to support AMISOM; Kenya working to secure Somali border; al Shabaab and government forces fight in Mogadishu; clashes between local militia and al Shabaab occur in Hiraan region; Eritrean president arrives in Uganda for state visit; Iranian delegation arrives in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Fighting between rival militias in Jaar in Abyan governorate killed at least four militants and injured seven others. Abdul Latif al Sayyed had demanded that al Qaeda militants leave the town; local al Qaeda leader Abu Ali Hadrami refused. Abdul Latif al Sayyed is a supporter of the Southern Movement.[1]
  • A tribal source reported that overnight fighting in Arhab district of Sana’a killed 23 opposition tribesmen. Tribesmen fought with elite Republican Guard forces. SABA, Yemen’s state news agency, reported that tribesmen have accused U.S.-designated terrorist Sheikh Abdul Majid al Zindani of sending over 300 fighters into Arhab and Nihm districts in Sana’a.[2]
  • U.S. officials reported that there may be new evidence that Iran is actively supporting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The Indian Navy intercepted the MV Nafis-I, which left Iran and was allegedly destined for Yemen, near Mumbai after tracking the ship for a number of days. The navy found food and supplies on the ship, along with several weapons (including AK-47s and a pistol). U.S. officials believed it was bringing supplies to AQAP.[3]
  • An explosion occurred outside of a government administration complex in al Matama in al Jawf where al Houthi leaders were meeting on August 15. An al Houthi statement labeled the attack a “US intelligence-style criminal act” intended to spark sectarian fighting in Yemen.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza said, “Burundi will send more troops to Somalia to reinforce security if it is deemed necessary.” Burundi has also urged Somalia’s government to prepare its security forces to take over AMISOM’s role when the mandate expires.[5]
  • Kenya is actively supporting Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops and pro-government militias along its border to create a buffer zone. Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua said, “Kenya and its (regional) partners are interested in keeping al Shabaab at bay so they can't ... reinforce their terrorist activities.” The country has provided intelligence and logistical support to TFG troops and has trained and provided supplies for soldiers along the border.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants conducted hit-and-run attacks in Yaqshid and Karan districts in Mogadishu, sparking heavy fighting with TFG soldiers, backed by AMISOM peacekeepers. At least four people were reported killed.[7]
  • Fighting between al Shabaab militants and Shabelle administration fighters killed at least ten people outside of Beledweyne in Hiraan region. Shabelle administration minister of information claimed that twenty al Shabaab militants had been killed.[8]
  • Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki began a three-day state visit to Uganda. The July 2011 UN Report of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group presented evidence of Eritrean support for al Shabaab, which has prompted East African countries to seek tougher sanctions against Eritrea.[9]
  • An Iranian delegation arrived in Mogadishu to meet with TFG Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and to tour the capital. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a statement that called on Iranians to “send monetary and non-monetary donations” to humanitarian organizations working in Somalia.[10]

[1] “Rival Militants Killed in South Yemen Clashes,” AFP, August 16, 2011. Available:
“6 killed in clashes between two extremist groups in Abyan,” Al Masdar, August 15, 2011. Available: [AR]
“Al-Zindani Accused of Sending Terrorists to Fight Yemeni Army,” SABA News, August 16, 2011. Available:
[3] Courtney Kube, “New Evidence Links Iran to Terror Group,” MSNBC, August 15, 2011. Available:
[5] Desire Nimubona, “Burundi May Send More Soldiers to Somalia to Support Peacekeeping Forces,” Bloomberg, August 16, 2011. Available:
[6] Richard Lough, “Kenya Looks to Somali Troops, Militias to Create Border Buffer,” Reuters, August 16, 2011. Available:
[7] “Somali Forces, al Shabaab Fight in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, August 16, 2011. Available:
[8] “Fighting Kills 10, Injuries Others in Central Somalia,” Mareeg Online, August 15, 2011. Available:
[9] Justin Dralaze, “Eritrea’s Reclusive President in Uganda for State Visit,” Reuters, August 16, 2011. Available:
Max Delany, “Eritrean Leader in Uganda for Security Talks,” AFP, August 16, 2011. Available:
[10] “Leader Urges Iranians to Aid Somalis,” Press TV, August 15, 2011. Available:
“Somali PM Receives Iranian Delegation in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, August 15, 2011. Available:
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