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: AQAP releases video on Yemeni soldiers; Yemeni Interior Ministry orders uniforms to be sold exclusively through ministry; gunmen attack Ma’rib power line

Horn of Africa: Gunmen kill six people outside of Mogadishu; EU training mission to relocate to Somalia; clan violence may impede progress toward stability

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) media arm, al Malahem Foundation, released a video on December 15. The video, entitled, “So That They May Understand,” highlighted the release of Yemeni soldiers who had been taken captive by the group. A captain appeared in the video saying that the Yemeni government had abandoned the troops. AQAP’s military commander Qasim al Raymi also speaks in the video.[1]
  • The Yemeni Interior Ministry ordered all private stores selling military uniforms to end the practice on December 15. All Yemeni military uniforms will be distributed through the ministry itself after the December 5 attack on the Defense Ministry by militants dressed in uniform.[2]
  • Gunmen attacked the power lines in Ma’rib governorate on December 17. Negotations with Al Shabwan tribesmen allowed an engineering team to enter and repair the damage to the power line.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Gunmen ambushed a convoy carrying doctors to a health clinic near Mogadishu on December 18. The attack occurred along the Mogadishu-Afgoi road near Siinka Dheer, about 20km south of the capital, and killed six people, including three Syrian doctors, a Somali doctor, and two Somali bodyguards.[4]
  • The European Union Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia) will be relocating from Uganda to Somalia early in 2014. About 3,600 Somali troops have passed through the program, most of them training in Uganda’s Bihanga military camp.[5]
  • The UN Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay warned that ongoing clan violence, especially in Lower and Middle Shabelle and Hiraan regions, could hinder Somalia’s progress toward stability.[6]   

[1] “AQAP Releases Video on Freeing 21 Soldiers Taken Captive in Shabwa,” SITE Intel Group, December 16, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] Ali Ibrahim al Moshki, “State’s Closure of Military Uniform Supply Stores Angers Shop Owners,” Yemen Times, December 17, 2013. Available:
[3] “New Attack on the Power Line in ‘Al Shabwan’ Area Causes Outage,” al Masdar Online, December 17, 2013. Available:
“Spokesman: Tribal Mediation Succeeded in Permitting Engineering Teams to Repair Power Lines in Ma’rib,” al Masdar Online, December 17, 2013. Available:
[4] “Gunmen Kill 6 Outside Somali Capital,” Voice of America, December 18, 2013. Available:
“’Syrian and Somali Doctors’ Shot Dead Near Mogadishu,” BBC, December 18, 2013. Available:
[5] “Somali Soldiers to be Trained on Home Turf in 2014: EU,” AFP, December 17, 2013. Available:
[6] “UN Special Representative Concerned over Local Conflicts in Somalia,” UNSOM Press Release, December 18, 2013. Available:
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