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: Forty separatists released from Aden jail; ambush in Habilain in Lahij governorate kills four Yemeni soldiers

Horn of Africa: Nairobi explosion kills three people, Uganda says likely al Shabaab; Ugandan police chief says al Shabaab recruiting East Africans; AMISOM comments on al Shabaab and Hizb al Islam merger; TFG soldiers clash, kill one person; President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed calls on youths to leave al Shabaab; locals report al Shabaab arrested five farmers in Middle Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • A security official reported that at least forty southern separatists were released from jail in Aden late on Monday.  The detainees had been arrested in Radfan district of Lahij governorate for participation in riots during Southern Movement protests.[1]
  • An official source reported that gunmen ambushed Yemeni forces in Habilain district in Lahij governorate, killing an officer and three soldiers.  Four other soldiers were injured in the attack.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An explosion at a bus stop in Nairobi killed three people aboard a Kampala-bound bus.  Both Kenya and Uganda have increased security patrols.  Kenya’s police chief Mathew Iteere said, “Investigations have established that the man who was carrying the Russian-made grenade is Albert John Olando Mulanda, born in Mwanza, Tanzania….We have also established that the grenade was destined for Uganda.  It is only that the man became nervous and dropped it and it exploded.  He died.”  Kenya believes that the man was acting alone.  Uganda’s Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura said, “I am yet to get details about the explosion in Nairobi, but it is most likely that Shebab may be behind this incident.”[3]
  • Uganda’s Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura said that al Shabaab has targeted East Africans in a massive recruitment drive.  Kayihura said of al Shabaab, “They are aware that it’s easier to identify a Somali and they are now recruiting East Africans….Following the terror attacks on July 11 in Kampala, and now the grenade explosion in Nairobi on a Kampala bound coach, there is a possibility that these terror groups may attempt to repeat their diabolical plans on the country…. Kenya is their main route to Uganda but we are tightening the noose on them.”[4]
  • AMISOM spokesman Major Ba-Hoku Barigye said of the merger between Hizb al Islam and al Shabaab, “we will continue performing our obligation to ward [sic] regaining the whole security and helping Somali people and we don’t see harm or threat to their unity because they are one wing now.”[5]
  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers fought amongst themselves near the former national theater in Hamar Weyne district of Mogadishu.  One soldier was killed and another seriously injured.[6]
  • President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed spoke at a ceremony marking the 67th anniversary of the founding of the Somali police force.  He urged youths not to fight for al Shabaab and said, “The government of Somalia implemented the Shari’a Islamic Law, so every one [sic] trying to demur and oppose it, will be on a wrong and un-Islamic way.”[7]
  • Local residents report that al Shabaab militants arrested at least five Somali farmers in Mahaday district in the Middle Shabelle region in southern Somalia.  Reportedly, the farmed refused to obey al Shabaab’s orders to sell their farms to businessmen.[8]

[1] “40 Southern Separatists Released,” Yemen Post, December 21, 2010.  Available:
[2] “Gunmen Kill Yemeni Soldiers,” Yemen Observer, December 20, 2010.  Available:
[3] “Kenya, Uganda Ramp up Security after Bus Blast,” AFP, December 21, 2010.  Available:
[4] “Uganda: al Shabab Recruiting From East Africa to Bolster Ranks,” Dow Jones, December 21, 2010.  Available:
[5] “AMISOM Speaks Shabab and Hisbul-Islam Unity,” Mareeg Online, December 21, 2010.  Available:
[6] “Somalia: Gov’t Soldiers Clash in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, December 21, 2010.  Available:
[7] “Somali President Calls for Somalia’s Misled Teenagers to Quit al Sha,” Shabelle Media Network, December 21, 2010.  Available:
[8] “Al Shabaab Detains Somali Farmers in Southern Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, December 21, 2010.  Available:
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