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: Suspected al Qaeda suicide attack wounds eight in Dhaleh, second bomb wounds three; judicial source says prosecutor investigating 17 al Qaeda suspects in Hadramawt province; IMF approves $370 million loan to ease currency drop, other economic challenges; security authorities arrest 279 Ethiopians illegally entering country
Horn of Africa: Hizb al Islam official denounces Shabelle Media as ‘not impartial’; TFG conducts security operation in Mogadishu following Dharkenley blast, arrests five; TFG minister says government will not tolerate continued attacks against officials; UN human rights bulletin reports battle between al Shabaab and Ras Kamboni in Dhobeley; al Shabaab Baidoa administration urges residents to fight in holy war against African Union; Galmudug asks for more TFG, international support against Islamist militants, offers own troops; Puntland president blasts VOA journalist for interview with Islamist rebel Atom; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a arrests 20 young men in Galgudud security operation; EU pledges 15 million euros for Somali refugee camps in Kenya; Somali pirates, Saudi ship owners agree to $3 million ransom on ship
Yemen Security Brief
- A suspected al Qaeda suicide bomber wounded eight people, including six police officers, in an attack on a police station in Dhaleh on Tuesday. Dhaleh’s deputy governor, Abdullah al Hadi, said the bomber “was on a motorbike wearing an explosive belt” and that he “blew himself up near the entrance of the province’s security headquarters. Hadi added that the attack “carries the fingerprints of al Qaeda.”
- According to a judicial source, a special prosecutor in Yemen’s Hadramawt province has begun investigating 17 al Qaeda suspects in the region. The men are accused of plotting terrorist attacks and possessing the means to do so.
- The International Monetary Fund approved a $370 million loan to Yemen on Tuesday to help cut its budget deficit and reduce poverty as its currency continues its slide to record lows. The organization will make $53 million available immediately for use. The IMF’s deputy managing director, Naoyuki Shinohara, said, “Yemen is confronted with a range of difficult economic challenges related to its heavy dependence on declining oil revenues, widespread poverty, and water shortages. The global financial crisis has aggravated these challenges through a reduction in world oil prices, resulting in mounting macroeconomic imbalances.”
- Yemeni security authorities arrested 279 Ethiopians for illegally entering the country and three Yemeni fishermen accused of transporting the Ethiopians.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Hizb al Islam official Sheikh Hassan Mahdi denounced the Shabelle Media Network following its report that unity talks between Hizb al Islam and al Shabaab had broken down. “As you know, Shabelle had moved from Bakara, it used to claim it was impartial, but we believed that it was not middle. It was sold by the infidels [and] Christians. It had violated the orders of [Hizb al Islam]. Now it is under the infidels that it is serving," he said.
- TFG soldiers conducted security operations in Mogadishu’s Dharkenley district following an explosion there Monday night. A witness said the soldiers arrested five suspects, but have released two of them since.
- Mohamed Omar Dalha, the TFG minister of rehabilitation and social affairs, said the government will not tolerate continuous explosions throughout Mogadishu, particularly those that target important officials. “What is going on in the country and the blasts are out of the humanity. So I call for the government and the Somali people [to] collaborate [on] how they would protect [against] the blasts. These things are from abroad not Somalis," he said.
- The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released its weekly bulletin, which reported fighting between al Shabaab and the Ras Kamboni Brigade in Dhobeley in the Lower Jubba region on July 28.
- Al Shabaab’s administration in Baidoa urged all residents to come out and wage a holy war against African Union troops in the country at a rally in the town’s center on Monday.
- The semi-autonomous Galmudug state issued a press release asking for more support from the TFG and international community to fight Islamist militants. It also called on Puntland to stop deporting central and southern Somalis, and offered to replace African Union troops with its own 6,500 man unit.
- Puntland President Mohamed Mahmoud Farole criticized Voice of America’s Somalia journalist Ali Xaarare for being biased in his interview with Islamist militant leader Sheikh Mohamed Said Atom.
- Bashir Ali Mire, the Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a chief of police in Abudwaq district, told reporters Tuesday that his group was conducting security operations in Galgudud region. He said that his forces had arrested 20 young men in the region suspected of fomenting instability.
- The European Union pledged 15 million euros to aid Somali refugee camps in Kenya, which already support 278,000 people. The EU humanitarian aid commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, said the continuing crisis in Somalia will send 100,000 more Somalis across the border.
- Somali pirates and the owners of the Saudi ship al Nisr agreed on a $3 million ransom for the ship and its crew, held hostage since March.