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: Al Houthi rebels kill eight people; six Yemeni soldiers released; Abyan’s deputy director of political security escapes assassination attempt

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab denies that militants surrendered to Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a; al Shabaab reports on execution in Bay region; TFG prime minister meets with Puntland president; widespread food shortages in southern Somalia; AMISOM tank hits Shabelle Radio building

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi rebels attacked a residence of an al Maqsher tribesman, killing eight people.  Tribal sources report that the rebels also attacked in Ktaf district in Sa’ada governorate and arrested one person.  An exchange of gunfire in al Malahaidh district in Sa’ada reportedly killed several al Houthi rebels.[1]

  • Local officials report that five soldiers and an army officer who had been kidnapped in Dhaleh in south Yemen following the sentencing of Fares Abdullah Saleh, who was connected to the Aden sports club bombing in October, have been released.  The releases were made on the condition that Saleh receive a fair trial when he appeals.  Demonstrations are occurring for the third consecutive day in Dhaleh.[2]

  • General Ahmed Madred, the deputy director of political security in Abyan governorate, escaped an assassination attempt.  Sources report that a bomb exploded near his car.  Madred was on al Qaeda’s most-wanted list.[3]

Horn of Africa Brief

  • Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, refuted claims that five al Shabaab militants surrendered to the Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a administration in the Galgudud region.  He said that the youths were not members of al Shabaab.[4]

  • Al Shabaab issued a statement that reported the group’s public stoning to death of an alleged rapist in Berdaale in Bay region in southern Somalia on December 10.  The statement says that the 30-year-old man, Adam Isaac Adam, raped a Muslim girl at knife-point.  He confessed to his crime and was then sentenced to death.[5]

  • The Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo met with Puntland’s President Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud Farole in Djibouti.  Topics of discussion included security cooperation, decentralization, and the completion of the transitional tasks laid out for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia by the UN.[6]

  • UN-supported Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) reports that the price of basic commodities in Afmadow in the Jubba region, which is to the south of Mogadishu, have risen sharply due to food shortages.  Maize, a staple in Somalia, now costs $25 for a 50kg bag, up from $12 two months ago.  Aid agencies are unable to operate in southern Somalia because the area is under al Shabaab’s control, which has threatened international humanitarian agencies.  IRIN reports that many residents are fleeing to Kenya to escape the food and water shortages.[7]

  • Shabelle Media Network reports that an AMISOM tank rammed into the Shabelle Radio building in Mogadishu Monday afternoon.  Shabelle had relocated from Bakara Market in June, when it had come under repeated threats from al Shabaab and Hizb al Islam.[8]

[1] “Houthis Kill Eight Citizens in Sa’ada Province,” Yemen Post, December 14, 2010.  Available:
[2] “Six Kidnapped Soldiers Released in South Yemen,” Reuters, December 13, 2010.  Available:
[3] “Police Officer Escapes Assassination Attempt in Abyan Province,” Yemen Post, December 13, 2010.  Available:
[4] “Sh. Ali Dhere Disproves Over Ahlu-Sunna Waljam,a Claims of Al-Shabab Fighters Surrender to Them,” Mareeg Online, December 13, 2010.  Available:,a-Claims-of-Al-shabab-fighters-surrender-to-them&sid=18204&tirsan=3
[5] “Shabaab Stones Rapist to Death,” SITE Intel Group, December 13, 2010.  Available at SITE.
[6] “President of Puntland Meets TFG Prime Minister in Djibouti,” Puntland Communications Office Press Release, December 13, 2010.  Available:
[7] “Somalia: High Food Prices Hurting Livelihoods in Afmadow,” IRIN News, December 14, 2010.  Available:
[8] “AMISOM’s Tank Deliberately Smashes Shabelle’s Building in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, December 13, 2010.  Available:
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