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: Presidential advisor survives an assassination attempt; ceasefire reached between al Houthi rebels and al Hajjah tribes
Horn of Africa: Puntland and Galmudug hold security cooperation meeting; Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni appoints his son brigadier-general and commander of special forces; protests turn violent in Mombasa after the death of radical Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammad; UN sanctions al Shabaab facilitator; al Shabaab claims eleven attacks; al Shabaab spokesman responds to forum questions
Yemen Security Brief
- Yassin Saeed Noman, an advisor to Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, survived an assassination attempt on Monday while traveling to the capital city of Sana’a. The suspected assailants opened fire on Yassin Saeed Noman’s convoy when his vehicle was stopped at a makeshift roadblock.
- Ali al Qaisi, the governor of al Hajjah governorate in northern Yemen, announced a ceasefire with al Houthi rebels on August 27. Local authorities were able to mediate the discussions, resulting in the removal of armed fighters from several locations in the Hajjah governorate.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Puntland Governor of Mudug region Mohammad Yusuf Jama Tigey and Galmudug Deputy Governor Aweys Ali Saeed held a security cooperation meeting on Sunday. Both parties met with community leaders and discussed how to strengthen security in the region.
- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni promoted his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to brigadier-general and overall commander of the Ugandan Special Forces on August 27. Muhoozi Kainerugaba has risen quickly through the military ranks, leading some to believe he is being groomed by his father as the next president of Uganda.
- Hundreds of protesters destroyed property and burned churches in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa. The protests, which have continued into a second day, were sparked by the assassination of radical Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammad, a U.S. - and UN-sanctioned spiritual leader of the al Shabaab militant group. At least twelve people have been arrested. Al Shabaab issued a statement on the sheikh’s death, noting that though he was not an official member of the group, he shared “unbreakable religious ties with the Mujahideen.” Al Shabaab further called on Kenyan Muslims to boycott the upcoming elections and “stand united against the Kuffar.”
- The United Nations Security Council placed a travel ban, assets freeze, and targeted arms embargo on Abubakar Shariff Ahmed, identified as a lead facilitator and recruiter in Kenya for al Shabaab. According to the August 23 UN statement, Ahmed has preached at mosques in Mombasa, Kenya, calling for young men to travel to Somalia and to fight for al Qaeda.
- Al Shabaab claimed eleven attacks on AMISOM and Somali forces in a statement released on August 24. Al Shabaab reported that it ambushed Burundian AMISOM troops on the road between Mogadishu and Afgoi, killing six of them and that it killed five “apostate militia elements” in a restaurant in the KM-50 area. The group also reported on shari’a courses held for elders in Bay and Bakool regions.
- Al Shabaab’s spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage (also known as Ali Dhere), responded to questions posted in an online forum. Rage touches on the death of al Qaeda in East Africa operative Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (also known as Harun Fazul) saying that Fazul stopped at the wrong checkpoint. Rage also dismissed criticism that al Shabaab fighters withdrew too quickly from Beledweyne ahead of an Ethiopian advancement in Hiraan region, saying that “an attempt to keep [the city] would cost us a lot.”