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: Two soldiers injured by al Qaeda attack in Lawder in Abyan governorate

Horn of Africa: The UN plans to send $530 million in aid projects to Somalia in 2011; UN Security Council in favor of raising AMISOM troop limit to 12,000; 40 dead after three days of fighting in Mogadishu; AMISOM spokesman denies claims that AMISOM troops fired on civilians in Bakara market; al Shabaab governor of Kismayo orders residents to take part in jihad; some MP’s claim approval vote for new PM’s cabinet was unconstitutional

Yemen Security Brief

  • Two soldiers were injured, one critically, when al Qaeda militants attacked a military vehicle in Lawder in Abyan governorate.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The United Nations intends to allocate $530 million to aid projects in Somalia in 2011.  This is down 23% from 2010, partly due to two good rain seasons in Somalia.  Mark Bowden, a top U.N. representative for Somalia, said, “The priority in 2011 is to ensure that humanitarian assistance gets to those who need it, wherever they are… Even with all the challenges of access and security in Somalia, we know it can be done because we managed in 2010.”[2]
  • All 15 members of the United Nations Security Council are in favor of raising the AMISOM troop limit from 8,000 to 12,000 soldiers, provided it can acquire the extra funds.  African countries contributing to the AMISOM force have also asked the UN to increase monthly wages for peacekeepers from $700 to $1000.[3]
  • After the third consecutive day of fighting between al Shabaab and Hizb al Islam militants and TFG and AMISOM forces in Mogadishu, the death toll has reached 40.  According to residents, the fighting has been concentrated in the areas around Bakara market, where at least 30 civilians were wounded on Tuesday.[4]
  • AMISOM spokesman Major Barigye Ba-Hoku released a statement denying claims made Tuesday that AMISOM troops caused civilian casualties by firing indiscriminately into Bakara market.  Col. Michael Ondoga of Uganda said, “Bakara Market is a force registered ‘No Fire Zone’ and no commander can authorize any indirect fire into this area.”[5]
  • Sheikh Hassan Yaqub Ali, governor of al Shabaab fighters in Kismayo in Lower Jubba region, has ordered the people of Kismayo to prepare to take part in jihad and to attend al Shabaab military training camps.  Ali urged residents who do not own weapons to purchase them.  He said, “We like all parts of the people as teachers, students and businessmen to be al-Shabab fighters.  Our aimd is that in deed so as to fight against those who are against use in Mogadishu.”[6]
  • Some Somali MP’s are claiming that Parliament speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden acted unconstitutionally in approving PM Mohamed’s new cabinet, saying that the approval was 25 votes short.  MP’s report that Aden said the vote would go through because there were 70 MP’s absent on the day of the vote.[7]

[1] “Two Soldiers Wounded in al-Qaeda’s Attack in Abyan,” Yemen Post, November 30, 2010. Available:
[2] “UN Seeks $530 Million for Somalia ‘Catastrophe’,” AP, December 1, 2010. Available:
[3] “UN Council Might Help AU Send More Troops to Somalia,” Reuters, December 1, 2010. Available:
[4] “Somalia: Mogadishu Death Toll Hits 40 on Third Day of Fighting,” Garowe Online, November 30, 2010. Available:
[5] “AMISOM Rejects Bakara Market Casualty Allegations,” Mareeg Online, December 1, 2010. Available:
[6] “Al-Shabab Orders People in Kismayu Town to be Fighters,” Mareeg Online, December 1, 2010. Available:
[7] “Somalia: 92 MP’s Express Frustration Over Speaker’s Parliament Conduct,” Garowe Online, November 30, 2010. Available:
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