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: Taiz clashes kill 13 people; Yemeni interim Prime Minister Basendwah submits proposed cabinet list

Horn of Africa: TFG security forces stop suicide attack in Mogadishu; TFG forces capture two explosive-laden vehicles in Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab issues new threat of increased suicide attacks; 11 al Shabaab fighters defect to the TFG; COMESA announces support for Kenyan operation in southern Somalia; Burundian defense official says AMISOM must double in size 

Yemen Security Brief 

  • Yemeni officials reported that clashes between Republican Guard troops and armed anti-government tribesmen killed 13 people in Taiz. The Yemeni Defense Ministry released a statement saying that shelling in Taiz killed five troops and injured 15 others. Separately, a security official reported that the clashes killed four tribesmen and four civilians and wounded 28 others. Witnesses reported that most of the attacks were concentrated the al Hasab, al Noor, and al Rawda neighborhoods. Tens of thousands of protesters were reportedly demonstrating against the government’s shelling and were attacking ruling party members’ houses.[1]
  • Yemeni interim Prime Minister Mohammed Salam Basendwah submitted two lists of cabinet positions for the ruling and opposition parties to Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi for approval on November 30. An official in Hadi’s office said "Each list contains 17 ministerial portfolios and Hadi is due to show both lists tonight to the leaders of the GPC to choose one... If they (GPC) accept one of the two lists, the opposition will take the other list and Hadi will then ratify the formation of the cabinet.”[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) security forces stopped a suicide attack targeting a government building in Mogadishu. The police seized a vehicle filled with explosives and two passengers as it was traveling on a highway between the KM 4 and KM 5 areas in the city. The police have taken the passengers for questioning.[3]
  • TFG forces captured two vehicles carrying explosives at a security checkpoint as they traveled from Dhobley to Taabta in Lower Jubba region.[4]
  • Al Shabaab’s military spokesman, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Mus’ab, warned that the frequency of suicide attacks against the TFG will double and that civilians should stay away from government buildings and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) bases.[5]
  • Ahmed Mo’allim Fiqi, director of the Somali National Security Agency, said that 11 al Shabaab militants, including two would-be suicide bombers, surrendered to the TFG. He added that many al Shabaab militants have defected to the TFG over the past several weeks.[6] 
  • A Burundian defense official said that the AMISOM force must double in size to fully secure Mogadishu and move outside the city limits. Burundi is planning on deploying another 1,000 troops as soon as equipment, such as armored personnel carriers and bullet proof vests, are received from foreign countries.[7] 
  • The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) expressed its support for the ongoing Kenyan military offensive in southern Somalia. In a statement read at a Committee of Elders retreat in Mombasa, Kenya, COMESA’s Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said, “We wish to express our support to Kenya in the fight against Al Shabaab. We have confidence the efforts will go a long way towards enhancing global security, especially in areas of terrorism and piracy.”[8]

[1]Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen says 13 killed in fighting in southern city,” AP, December 1, 2011. Available:
“21 injured as Taiz Bombarded by Government forces,” Yemen Post, November 30, 2011. Available:
[2] “Yemeni PM submits proposed lists of opposition-led cabinet to vice president (2),” Xinhua, December 1, 2011. Available:
[3] “Somali government army foils a suicide attack in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, November 30, 2011. Available:
[4] “TFG forces seize two cars laden with explosives,” SONNA, December 1, 2011. Available:
[5] “Terrorist linked group, Shabab threatens more suicide attacks against Somali government,” Mareeg Online, December 1, 2011. Available:
[6] “Al-shabab fighters surrender to Somali government,” Shabelle Media Network, November 30, 2011. Available:
[7] Sarah McGregor and Desire Nimubona, “African Union Must Double Force to Secure Somalia, Burundi Says,” Bloomberg, December 1, 2011. Available:
[8] Philip Mwakio, “Comesa confirms support on move against al Shabaab,” The Standard, November 30, 2011. Available:
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