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: Aden intelligence headquarters attack kills at least 14 security force members; suicide bomber targets local leader in Mudia; gunman kills at least seven in al Dhaleh mosque attack
Horn of Africa: TFG presidential election postponed as parliament sworn in; grenade attack in Mogadishu wounds four; Uganda considers sending more air support to Somalia; three militants killed in premature IED detonation in Gedo region; al Shabaab arrests 50 in Bay and Bakool regions; Kenya threatens Somali “spoilers” with sanctions
Yemen Security Brief
- Militants attacked the intelligence headquarters in Aden on August 18. SABA News Agency reported that the militants first detonated a suicide car bomb, and then raided the building. The militants reportedly used automatic machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) in the attack, which also damaged the neighboring Yemen TV building. At least 14 members of the security forces were killed and seven others were injured in the attack, and some casualty figures say at least 20 people were killed. The militants are suspected to have ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
- A suicide bomber, suspected to be linked to al Qaeda, attacked a group of tribesmen in Mudia in Abyan governorate early August 19. The attack occurred in front of Nasser Ali Daimeh’s house, who is a leader within the local Popular Committee – a tribal militia that has fought Ansar al Sharia. Nasser Ali Daimeh was reportedly killed, along with two body guards. At least two other people were injured.
- A gunman opened fire on worshippers in a mosque in al Dhaleh in August 19. At least seven people were killed in the attack and eleven others were injured. Security sources indicated that they do not believe the gunman had ties to al Qaeda.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The presidential election to be held in the new parliament as dictated by the mandate of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia has been delayed. The Technical Selection Committee (TSC) appointed around 225 members of parliament by the official end of the TFG mandate on August 20. A list of 202 members was leaked prematurely on August 17, and around 20 more members were appointed in the days following. The members are still able hold the presidential vote, for which the quorum is 184. However, the presidential election will be postponed until after the members of parliament are sworn in on August 20.
- A grenade attack wounded at least four civilians near Bar Ubax junction in Mogadishu late on August 19. Two “young boys” threw hand grenades at Somali soldiers stationed near the busy intersection according to witness reports. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Uganda is in talks with the UN and African Union (AU) about sending more Ugandan air support to assist the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) operations against al Shabaab. The Uganda State Minister for Defense, General Jeje Odongo, said that the Ugandan army is prepared to send the support during an interview on August 17.
- Three suspected al Shabaab militants were killed during an accidental detonation of an improvised explosive device (IED) in Beled Hawo in Gedo region on August 17. The men were planting the IED in a field that was to be the location of Eid prayers the following day.
- Al Shabaab arrested 50 civilians in the Bay and Bakool regions for failure to pay zakat, or charitable donations, to al Shabaab for distribution on August 19. Instead the detainees donated directly to poor families. The arrests occurred in Dinsor and Bur Hakaba districts in Bay region and Wajid district in Bakool region.
- Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki warned that spoilers of the political process in Somalia would face sanctions from his government in a statement on August 17.