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: Armed tribesmen dig military trenches in northern Sana’a stronghold; security forces fire on protestors in al Hudaydah governorate; U.S. and Yemeni officials discuss military cooperation; Yemeni government official says President Saleh will return after finishing treatment

Horn of Africa: Somali government soldiers rob aid trucks; Somali officials says AQAP shipped weapons to al Shabaab; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls on al Shabaab to allow humanitarian aid in their areas; Uganda issues nationwide terror alert

Yemen Security Brief

  • Armed tribesmen loyal to Hashid tribal confederation leader Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar dug trenches in al Hasaba district of Sana’a in anticipation of renewed government attacks.  Republican Guard forces advanced into the area overnight with armored vehicles and “blocked several roads and erected checkpoints.” Tribal fighters have responded by closing down several roads and fortifying military positions.[1]
  • Yemeni security forces fired live ammunition and teargas at protestors in al Hudaydah governorate on August 4, injuring at least six people.[2]
  • U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael G. Vickers met with Yemen’s chief of general staff, Major General Ahmed Ali al Ashwal, to discuss military cooperation and counterterrorism.  The discussions focused on enhancing Yemen’s security, fighting al Qaeda elements in Yemen, and boosting “training and rehabilitation” programs.[3]
  • Abdullah Ghanim, head of the political department in Yemen’s General People’s Congress, said President Ali Abdullah Saleh will return to Yemen immediately following treatment.  Ghanim said, “President Ali Abdullah Saleh is still Yemen’s legitimate President until presidential elections are held. A authorization to Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi does not mean the transfer of power… The President is not disable[d] in the exercise of his functions. He was not permanently disabled despite the gravity of the crime.”[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali government soldiers robbed two trucks carrying aid to Badbaado refugee camp in Dharkenley district of Mogadishu.  Fighting ensued between the soldiers and aid carriers, leaving at least seven people dead and ten others wounded.[5]
  • A Somalia official said al Shabaab recently received eight ships full of weapons from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  The official said two other ships were intercepted by the Yemeni government before leaving the country.[6]
  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on al Shabaab to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid into regions under their control.  She said, “It is particularly tragic that during the holy month of Ramadan, al-Shabaab are preventing assistance to the most vulnerable populations in Somalia - namely children, including infants, and girls and women who are attempting to bring themselves and those children to safety and  the potential of being fed before more deaths occur…I call on al-Shabaab to allow assistance to be delivered in an absolutely unfettered way throughout the area that they currently control.”  Al Shabaab has also captured and prevented men of fighting age from fleeing into areas controlled by the Transitional Federal Government.  Witnesses say al Shabaab has forcefully recruited young men and completely quarantined areas under their control.[7]
  • Ugandan police chief Kale Kayihura issued a new terror alert, warning that al Shabaab may be planning new attacks in the country.  Kayihura said, “Uganda is targeted by al-Qaeda. We're facing a new terror attack. Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia are in the process of avenging the death of their commander Fazul Abdullah… Apart from metal detectors, we need dogs and thorough body search. There are intelligence reports that al-Qaeda terrorists use in-plants for suicide bombers.”[8]


[1] “Tribe digs in as army advances on Yemen capital,” AFP, August 5, 2011. Available:
“Fears Grow amid Forces Deployment to Downtown Yemen Capital,” Yemen Post, August 4, 2011. Available:
[2] “Six Hurt as Demonstration Condemns Deliberate Outages in Western Yemen,” Yemen Post, August 4, 2011. Available:
[3] “US official in Yemen for military talks,” Yemen News Agency (SABA), August 4, 2011. Available:
[4] “President Saleh to return home immediately after treatment, says GPC official,” Yemen News Agency (SABA), August 4, 2011. Available:
[5] Abdi Guled and Katharine Houreld, “Gunfire said to kill 7 as aid is looted in Somalia,” AP, August 5, 2011. Available:
“T.F.G soldiers rob aid food, exchange fires,” Mareeg Online. Available:
[6] “Somalia Official: al-Shabab Gets Weapons from Yemen,” VOA, August 4, 2011. Available:
[7] “Clinton calls on al-Shabaab to allow Somalia food aid,” Reuters, August 4, 2011. Available:
David Gollust, “Clinton Appeals to al-Shabaab on Food Aid,” VOA, August 4, 2011. Available:
“Clinton urges Somali militants to allow in food aid,” AFP, August 4, 2011. Available:
William Davies, “Somali rebels stopping men fleeing drought,” AFP, August 5, 2011. Available:
[8] “Uganda: Police Chief Issues Fresh Terror Alert,” All Africa, August 4, 2011. Available:
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