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: Clashes kill at least five more people in Taiz; unidentified assailants kill anti-Islamist fighter in Lawder; government ministries divided between ruling party and opposition

Horn of Africa: Suspected Kenyan fighter jets bomb camp near Bardhere; fighting erupts in Karan district in Mogadishu; TFG troops and Ras Kamboni fighters repel al Shabaab attack near Afmadow; TFG, al Shabaab fight in Busar; TFG forces stop roadside bomb attack in Mogadishu; Somali immigrant living in California admits to supporting al Shabaab  

Yemen Security Brief  

  • Clashes between Republican Guard troops and armed opposition tribesmen killed at least five people in Taiz. Republican Guard troops reportedly shot and killed three civilians, and clashes between the two sides killed two others who were “trapped in their homes,” according to protest leaders and medical sources. Tanks were also reportedly shelling the city from the surrounding mountains. This most recent violence comes amidst a ceasefire issued by the Governor of Taiz, Hamoud al Soufi, late Thursday night. Yemeni interim Prime Minister Mohammed Salam Basendwah said the killing in Taiz was "an intentional act” to destroy the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deal. Basendwah said in statement, "I call for Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to publicly order the troops loyal to the ruling party to stop shelling the residential neighborhoods of Taiz city. Otherwise, the opposition coalition's National Council will reconsider the process of forming the national consensus government."[1]  
  • A local official reported that unidentified assailants threw a bomb at the commander of a volunteer militia in Lawder in Abyan governorate. The commander was injured and another person was killed in the attack. The militia has been fighting al Qaeda-linked militants in the area.[2]  
  • The Yemen Observer reported that the 34 government ministries were divided between the General People’s Congress (GPC) and the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) with each side gaining control of 17 ministries each. The GPC reportedly chose the list that contained the “Ministries of Defense, Oil and Minerals, Foreign Affairs, Telecommunication, Higher Education, Public Works and Roads, Expatriate, Endowments and Religious Affairs, Tourism, Agriculture and Irrigation, Public Health, Social Affairs and Labor, Fisheries, Youth and Sport, Civil Services, and two state ministries.” The JMP reportedly gained control of the “Ministries of Interior, Finance, Information, Education, Justice, Legal Affairs, Technical and Vocational Training, Planning and International Cooperation, Industry and Commerce, Transportation, Culture, Human Rights, House of Representatives and Shoura Council, Water, Electricity and two State ministries.” Each list is set to include five “sovereign ministries,” as well. The JMP reportedly compiled the two lists, but the GPC was given the power to choose which list of ministries it wanted to control.[3]    

Horn of Africa Security Brief  

  • Fighter jets bombed suspected al Shabaab training camps in al Adde near Bardhere in Gedo region. Local sources reported that the jets fired a number of missiles at the training camps.[4]  
  • Al Shabaab militants and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops clashed in Karan district in Mogadishu. TFG forces killed several al Shabaab militants and wounding others. The militants reportedly withdrew from the district.[5]  
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked the TFG- and Ras Kamboni-held village Hayo near Afmadow in Lower Jubba region. A spokesman for the Ras Kamboni militia said that the TFG and Ras Kamboni forces repulsed the al Shabaab attack and that both sides suffered casualties.[6]  
  • Fighting erupted near Busar in Gedo region when al Shabaab militants ambushed a TFG convoy traveling to Garbaharey. Shabelle Media Network reported that casualties were high, but limited to the combatants. Locals reported that artillery and machine guns were used and the town had been evacuated.[7]  
  • TFG security forces arrested two youths carrying landmines and other explosives as they reportedly tried to plant them near government buildings and on roads used by government vehicles in Abdi Aziz district in Mogadishu. Yusuf Ali, the Abdi Aziz district commissioner, said that residents should work with security forces to prevent further al Shabaab attacks.[8]  
  • Nima Yusuf, a Somali immigrant living in California, admitted that she had sent money to four men who were fighting for al Shabaab. The four men, Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, Abdisalan Hussein Ali, Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax, and Abdiweili Yassin Isse, received around $1,500 from Yusuf while they were with the militant group. Yusuf will be charged in February, and faces a prison term of up to 15 years and a $250,000 fine.[9]  

[1]Mohammed Ghobari, “Yemen PM warns violence imperils post-Saleh change,” Reuters, December 2, 2011. Available:
“Several killed in Yemen's Taiz city,” al Jazeera, December 2, 2011. Available:
“Yemen's New PM Calls for Ending Violence in Taiz,” Xinhua, December 2, 2011. Available:
[2] Mohammed Ghobari, “Yemen PM warns violence imperils post-Saleh change,” Reuters, December 2, 2011. Available:
[3] Zaid al Alaya’a and Majid al Kibsi, “Yemen ruling party chooses the alpha list of Ministries in the new government,” Yemen Observer, December 2, 2011. Available:
[4] “Fighter Jets Strike al-Shabaab Training Camps in Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, December 2, 2011. Available:
[5] “Fresh fighting erupt in Mogadishu’s karaan region,” SONNA, December 2, 2011. Available:
[6] “Allied forces clash with rebel fighters in parts of Lower Juba,” Radio Bar-Kulan, December 2, 2011. Available:
[7] “Death toll rise as government, Al-shabab fighters clashed in southern,” Shabelle Media Network, December 2, 2011. Available:
[8] “Somali government foils attempted attacks in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, December 2, 2011. Available:
[9] “Somali woman pleads guilty in US terror trial,” AFP, December 1, 2011. Available:
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