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: Opposition establishes national council; Saleh pledges to return to Yemen; Abyan tribesmen arrest ten militants; Arhab residents report heavy military deployment

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants surrender to Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a administration in Gedo region; TFG troops conduct security operations in Mogadishu; al Shabaab in Lower Jubba requires hotels to feed militants; AMISOM uncovers bomb-making factory; OIC meets in Turkey to discuss the famine in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemen’s main opposition bloc, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), announced the establishment of a National Revolution Council. One thousand representatives from all opposition groups, including the Southern Movement, the al Houthis, and civil society, will elect 143 members to the council.[1]
  • President Ali Abdullah Saleh pledged to return to Yemen at a tribal conference. Saleh delivered a speech recorded in Saudi Arabia to the tribesmen. He said: “We must discuss all the available data, all the events in Yemen, and how to get our country out of the crisis - the crisis which was fabricated by some political forces to reach power. We welcome the opposition and tell them that ‘you can reach power through ballot boxes, not through coups, statements, denunciation, insults, or irresponsible speeches.’” He finished by saying “see you soon” in Sana’a.[2]
  • Abyan tribesmen arrested ten suspected Islamist militants in Shaqra, a coastal town east of Zinjibar. The militants were in possession of machine guns and grenades and were heading in the direction of Zinjibar and Aden.[3]
  • Residents of Arhab district in Sana’a governorate report that the fighting between opposition tribesmen and elite Republican Guard troops killed many civilians. Local tribal leaders say that at least 45 tanks and armored vehicles entered the area the morning of August 16.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a officials in Gedo region reported that six al Shabaab militants surrendered to the group. Ahlu Sunna spokesman Sheikh Mohammed Hussein al Qadi said that the group welcomed the young fighters who had been misled by al Shabaab.[5]
  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops conducted security operations in Mogadishu. At least four individuals were arrested for suspected involvement in a grenade attack on the Ex-control checkpoint.[6]
  • Shueib Adan Ali, al Shabaab’s second-in-command in Afmadow in Lower Jubba region, ordered local hoteliers to prepare meals for al Shabaab militants, threatening to punish those who refuse.[7]
  • AMISOM reported that peacekeeping troops discovered bomb-making materials, including 32 improvised detonators, switches for suicide vests, and explosives, in a former steel factory in Wardhigley district in Mogadishu. There was also evidence that al Shabaab was manufacturing hand grenades and weapons in additions to suicide vests and improvised explosive devices.[8]
  • Representatives of member countries within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met in Istanbul to discuss the famine in Somalia.[9]

[1] Hakim Almasmari, “Yemeni Opposition Forms Council to Take Power,” CNN, August 17, 2011. Available:
Mohammed Hatem, “Yemeni Opposition Groups Establish a National Governing Council,” Bloomberg, August 17, 2011. Available:
“Yemen’s Opposition Meets to Elect Council to Take Power,” AFP, August 17, 2011. Available:
[2] “President Saleh Delivers Speech to Tribal Conference,” SABA News, August 16, 2011. Available:
[3] “Yemeni Tribesmen Seize 10 Militants in South,” Reuters, August 17, 2011. Available:
[4] “Saleh Pledges to Return to Yemen; at Least 26 Killed in Clashes,” CNN, August 17, 2011. Available:
[5] “Al-Shabaab Fighters Surrender to Ahlu Sunna in Gedo Region,” Bar-Kulan, August 17, 2011. Available:
[6] “Somali Forces Conduct Security Operations in Parts of Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, August 17, 2011. Available:
[7] “Al Shabaab Compels Hoteliers to Provide Iftar and Fast-Closing Meals for Militants,” Bar-Kulan, August 17, 2011. Available:
[8] “AMISOM Finds Bomb-Making Factory in Mogadishu,” AMISOM Press Release, August 15, 2011. Available:
[9] “Muslim Nations Hold Emergency Talks on Somalia,” AFP, August 17, 2011. Available:
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