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: Shelling continues in Arhab, airstrikes reportedly kill hundreds; pro-government tribesmen rejoin offensive in Zinjibar; security forces fire on protestors in Hadrawmawt governorate; Yemeni government hires Iraqi pilots

Horn of Africa: UN declares famine in three new regions of Somalia; Somali government plans to deploy forces in areas taken from al Shabaab; al Shabaab taxes farmers in Middle Shabelle region; evidence that local al Shabaab commanders are easing restrictions on aid; Somaliland security forces foil suicide attack on mosque

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemen Post reports that Yemeni warplanes attacked Republican Guard forces that refused to fight opposition tribesmen in Sama’e region of Arhab district.  Over 240 soldiers and 36 tribesmen were killed.  A senior security official said that Republican Guard forces were negotiating the surrender of the Sama’e military base to tribesmen in the region.  The official said, “The government did not stand quiet when the guards refused orders to clash with tribes and officials in the republican guards felt it was necessary that those who disobey orders are killed.” Shelling of villages in Arhab district continued and security forces launched attacks “from camps in nearby districts.” Three people were killed.[1]
  • Pro-government tribesmen who had withdrawn from military operations in Zinjibar agreed to rejoin the government’s offensive in the city.  Tribal fighters have returned to their positions around Zinjibar.[2]
  • Yemeni security forces fired on rioting protestors in Shihr village of Hadramawt governorate, killing two people and injuring three others.[3]
  • The Yemen Post reports that Yemeni military commander Abu Hatim said the government “hired Iraqi pilots to carry out airstrikes” in Arhab and Nihm districts on the outskirts of Sana’a.  He said the pilots are targeting tribal fighters and Republican Guard forces suspected of ties with the opposition.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The United Nations added Afgoi corridor, Mogadishu, and Middle Shabelle region to the list of famine-hit regions in Somalia.  UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said, “This latest information also confirms the seriousness of the problem facing internally displaced people in Mogadishu, who require our immediate and concerted response.”[5]
  • Police officials in Mogadishu said they plan to deploy security forces into areas recently seized from al Shabaab.  An official said the Somali police held a security meeting in Hamar Bile neighborhood to discuss strategies for heightening security in the new areas.[6]
  • Al Shabaab fighters have demanded farmers in Bu’aale district of Middle Shabelle region to pay “$30 for every hectare of farming land along the bank of [the] River Jubba.”  Local farmers said this is the most severe rule ever imposed on them by al Shabaab.[7]  
  • Some local Shabaab administrations in southern Somalia are beginning to ease restrictions on international aid organizations.  Al Shabaab commanders in Baidoa in Bay region recently allowed UNICEF to land an aid airplane to provide humanitarian assistance to the region.[8]
  • Security forces in Somaliland foiled a plan to attack a mosque in Hargeisa, where the imam openly condemned suicide bombings.[9]

[1] “Yemen Air Force kills at least 200 of Its Own Forces in Arhab District,” Yemen Post, August 3, 2011. Available:
“More Casualties In Continuous Battles Outside Sana’a,” Yemen Post, August 3, 2011. Available:
[2] Mohammed Mukhashaf, “South Yemen tribes to rejoin army offensive against militants,” Reuters, August 3, 2011. Available:
[3] “Two killed in clashes with Yemen police: sources,” AFP, August 4, 2011. Available:
[4] “Yemen Hires Iraqi Pilots as Battles Continue on Outskirts of Sana’a – Commander,” Yemen Post, August 3, 2011. Available:
[5] “UN declares famine in another three areas of Somalia,” UN News Centre, August 3, 2011. Available:
“Somalia’s famine reaches into Mogadishu, U.N. says,” CNN, August 3, 2011. Available:
[6] “Police to be deployed in recently governed seized areas in Mogadishu, Police say,” Bar Kulan, August 4, 2011. Available:
“Somali police commander says security forces would operate recently seized area,” Mareeg Online. Available:
[7] “Al Shabaab demands money from farmers in Middle Jubba,” Bar Kulan, August 4, 2011. Available:
[8] Mike Pflanz, “Somalia’s Islamists Appear Divided on Blocking Famine Aid,” CS Monitor, August 3, 2011. Available:
[9] “Breaking News: Somaliland forces say attack on mosque foiled,” Somaliland Press, August 3, 2011. Available:
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