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: Fighting continues in Abyan; roadside bomb explodes in Shaqra, injuring tribesmen; Somali fighters reportedly arrive in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Ugandans part of al Shabaab; al Shabaab describes drought-related activities; al Shabaab orders IDPs to resettle in Gedo region; Ahlu Sunna elects new head; TFG denies al Shabaab captured military vehicles; al Shabaab kidnaps businessman outside of Mogadishu; ONLF condemns recent deal between China, Ethiopia, and Somaliland

Yemen Security Brief

  • Fighting continued into a second day in Abyan governorate. At least 12 Yemeni soldiers have been killed since the fighting began and at least 17 al Qaeda-linked militants have been killed. Airstrikes have hit targets outside of Zinjibar, in Jaar, and in al Arqub in Abyan.[1]
  • An improvised explosive device planted along a road in Shaqra in Abyan injured six tribesmen.[2]
  • Yemen Observer reports that an estimated 400 Somali fighters have arrived in Shaqra. The fighters are believed to be al Shabaab members.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF) spokesman Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye said that some of the al Shabaab commanders are Ugandans, and that many of the group’s commanders are not Somalis.[4]
  • Al Shabaab issued a communiqué describing an attack on Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers in Banadir region. It claimed to have planted to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) inside of two TFG checkpoints, which killed at least seven soldiers. In Gedo region, al Shabaab described a battle in al Khosran near Busar that allegedly killed 20 TFG soldiers. Al Shabaab claimed that its administration in the Jubba regions distributed food aid to 3,000 people. The group also reported on the restoration of five water canals in Jinali district in Lower Shabelle region, which were repaired by the al Shabaab administration.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants in Bardhere town in Gedo region ordered displaced people to relocate to settlements in Shibirole, Musawa’, and Hurena villages. Local al Shabaab leaders claim that they are only seeking to resettle the displaced people.[6]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a in Abudwaq in Galgudud region elected Sheikh Omar Abdi Qadi to head the group’s “Guddiga Talada,” a 32-member decision-making body. Sheikh Abdullah Abdi Mohamed was elected as Qadi’s deputy.[7]
  • The TFG denied that al Shabaab had seized military vehicles in Gedo region. TFG governor of Gedo, Mohamed Abdi Kalil told Shabelle Radio that al Shabaab was losing strength and that TFG forces were conducting operations to rid Gedo of al Shabaab fighters.[8]
  • Al Shabaab militants kidnapped a businessman who had refused to pay the group. He was taken off of a bus in Elasha Biyaha, on his way to Suq Ba’ad in Mogadishu.[9]
  • The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) released a statement declaring the deal reached by China, Ethiopia, and Somaliland to build a refinery in Berbera, a gas pipeline, and a road through the Ogaden was a “pipe dream.” The ONLF stated that it would “undertake all necessary measures to defend [its] resources and territory.”[10]

[1] Hakim Almasmari, “Source: Dozens Killed in South Yemen Fighting,” CNN, August 25, 2011. Available:
Ahmed al Haj, “Airstrikes Kill 36 Suspected Militants in Yemen,” AP, August 24, 2011. Available:
[2] Hakim Almasmari, “Source: Dozens Killed in South Yemen Fighting,” CNN, August 25, 2011. Available:
[3] Nasser Arrabyee, “Somali Fighters Arrive in Yemen as Troops, Tribesmen Tighten Noose on al Qaeda,” Yemen Observer, August 25, 2011. Available:
[4] Pascal Kwesiga, “Ugandans Leading al-Shabaab,” New Vision (Uganda), August 25, 2011. Available:
[5] “Shabaab Attacks Somali Soldiers, Distributes Aid,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 23, 2011. Available at SITE.
[6] “Al-Shabaab Compel IDPs in Bardera to Move to Far Areas within the District,” Radio Bar-Kulan, August 25, 2011. Available:
[7] “Ahlu Sunna Group Elects New Office Bearers,” Radio Bar-Kulan, August 25, 2011. Available:
[8] “Somali Govt Denies Some of Their Military Vehicles Confiscated by Rebe,” Shabelle Media Network, August 25, 2011. Available:
[9] “Al Shabaab Kidnaps Businessman Just Outside of Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, August 25, 2011. Available:
[10] “ONLF Statement: Unholy Tri-partite Deal Between China, Ethiopia, and Hargeisa Administration,” Ogaden Online, August 24, 2011. Available:
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