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: Intelligence official escapes assassination attempt in Hadramawt governorate; Islah Party accuses al Houthis of storming its headquarters in Sa’ada governorate; soldiers and officers protest in Taiz governorate; Popular Resistance Committee members open fire on civilians in Abyan governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali and AMISOM troops take over Kuday and Mudawa, Lower Jubba region; unknown gunmen kill Somali army lieutenant in Mogadishu; IED detonates in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; al Shabaab militants behead young man outside Luq, Gedo region; Mogadishu is now safe enough for asylum seekers to return; African Union office to open in Mogadishu; Somali government pays its troops in Garbaharey and Dolow, Gedo region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Col. Mohammad Hajeb, director of military intelligence division in Wadi Hadramawt, survived an assassination attempt in Sayun district in Hadramawt governorate on December 18. Unidentified assailants reportedly planted an explosive device under a seat in Col. Hajeb’s military vehicle which was later detonated by a cell phone. Local sources reported that the attack did not result in casualties.[1]
  • The Islah (Reform) Party accused al Houthi rebels of storming an Islah Party headquarters in Sa’ada governorate on December 16. Local sources reported that Islah Party members requested that Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi intervene to stop the al Houthi raids.[2]
  • Several soldiers and officers demonstrated in Taiz governorate on December 17. Local sources reported that the protesters demanded the release of their salaries and the implementation of President Abu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s recent directives to improve conditions in the governorate.[3]
  • Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) members opened fire on civilians in Jaar city of Abyan governorate on December 18. Local sources reported that PRC members killed at least one civilian and wounded two more. The civilians were reportedly distributing food aid to residents in the area. It is unclear why PRC members opened fire on the civilians.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers and Kenyan troops took over the islands of Kuday and Mudawa, Lower Jubba region from al Shabaab on December 18. The capture of Kuday was peaceful however fighting on Mudawa is still ongoing. Casualties from the battle have not yet been reported.[5]
  • Unknown gunmen shot and killed a lieutenant in the SNA in Mogadishu on December 17. The gunmen were able to flee the scene but there is an investigation into the murder. So far, police have not arrested any suspects.[6]
  • An IED exploded in the Hawlwadag village in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on December 17. The bomb, which was targeting tax collectors in the village, was buried in the ground and then remotely detonated. Two people were killed and several others were injured in the explosion. Local police are now investigating the incident.[7]
  • Al Shabaab militants beheaded a young man outside of Luq, Gedo region on December 17. Al Shabaab threatened the man after he supposedly sold camel milk to Somali government soldiers. When he continued to distribute camel milk, al Shabaab militants killed him.[8]
  • Mogadishu has now been deemed safe enough for asylum seekers to be sent back to Somalia. Germany, Sweden and Belgium have already begun deporting Somalis back to their home country. Those Somali immigrants who don’t voluntarily return to Somalia can be detained.[9]
  • An African Union office will be opening soon in Mogadishu. African Union Representative to Somalia, Mahamat Salah Annadif, met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on December 18 and informed him of the decision.[10]
  • The Somali government paid its soldiers in Garbaharey and Dolow towns in the Gedo region on December 18. Each soldier received US $100 after not being paid for over a year.[11]  

[1] “Director of Military Intelligence Division in Wadi Hadramawt Survives an Assassination Attempt after an Explosion in His Car in Sayun,” Aden al Ghad, December 18, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Accusations to al Houthis for Carrying Out Assaults against the Sons of Sa’ada,” Mareb Press, December 17, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Dozens of Soldiers and Organizers of the Revolution Protest in Taiz Governorate Demanding the Organization of Their Situations,” Mareb Press, December 18, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Breaking… Civilian Killed and Two Wounded by PRC Gunshots in Jaar,” Barakish, December 18, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Somalia, Kenya Troops Capture More Area from Al Shabaab Militants,” December 18, 2012. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Gunmen Kill Security Officer in Mogadishu,” December 17, 2012. Available:
[7] “Deadly Explosion in Beledweyne,” Radio Mustaqbal, December 17, 2012. Available:
[8] “Young Civilian Slaughtered by Al Shabaab in Luq,” Radio Mustaqbal, December 17, 2012. Available:
[9] “Mogadishu Declared Safe for Asylum Seekers, Says Minister,” Bar Kulan, December 18, 2012. Available:
[10] “AU Office for Somalia to Relocate to Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, December 18, 2012. Available:
[11] “Somalia Government Pay Soldiers,” Bar Kulan, December 18, 2012. Available:
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