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: Saleh criticizes separatists in speech; vice president reveals cost of sixth Sa’ada war

Horn of Africa: UNSC authorizes AMISOM force of 12,000; Uganda to deploy additional peacekeepers; al Shabaab threatens Uganda and Burundi; al Shabaab controls district in Mudug region; U.S. embassy in Kampala issues terrorism warning; Somaliland charges crew of Puntland-bound plane

Yemen Security Brief

  • President Ali Abdullah Saleh spoke at Aden University on December 20 on “the political and legal aspects of constitutional rights of the unified country. He said that following unification, “We then called on our brothers to leave the past behind us.” He spoke of obstacles to unification and said that “Aden has embraced many political forces, which were grown, raised, planned, and fought to start the revolutions of September and October. They have fought seeking reunification of Yemen.”[1]
  • Yemeni Vice President Abu Rabu Mansour Hadi said at a closed-door meeting with ruling party leaders that the Yemeni government had spent about $3 billion on the war effort against the al Houthi rebels during the sixth Sa’ada war and that 3,000 soldiers were killed. An additional 14,000 soldiers were injured during the war. In July, the government reported that the war had cost about $850,000 and gave a lower casualty figure.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously voted to extend the authorization of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) until September 30, 2011 and to increase the force strength to 12,000 troops. UNSC Resolution 1964 also commends the efforts of AMISOM and other actors in Somalia.[3]
  • A contingent of 1,800 additional Ugandan peacekeepers is to deploy to Mogadishu shortly. The troops just graduated from the urban warfare training base in Singo, Uganda, that copies the layout of structures in Mogadishu.[4]
  • Al Shabaab’s spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage, said, “We, al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam have united and we warn Uganda and Burundi forces and their people that we shall redouble our attacks….We also inform our brothers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Uganda, that we have united in one name -- al Shabaab.”[5]
  • Local residents report that al Shabaab militants have taken control over Harardhere district in Mudug region, which had previously been contested by Hizb al Islam militants. Hizb al Islam officials report that some of its fighters joined al Shabaab, but that others joined Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a. Ahlu Sunna spokesman Adurrahman Abu Yusuf, said 30 Hizb al Islam fighters had joined his forces.[6]
  • The U.S. embassy in Kampala issued a warning to U.S. citizens following the December 20 Nairobi bus attack. The warden message notes that no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but that al Shabaab remains active in the region and has warned of future attacks.[7]
  • Somaliland charge the six Russian crew members of the cargo plane en route to Puntland that was carrying military fatigues.[8]

[1] “Saleh Slams Separatists,” Yemen Observer, December 23, 2010. Available:
[2] “Vice President Reveals Bigger Losses During Sixth Saada War,” Yemen Post, December 23, 2010. Available:
[3] “Security Council Extends Authorization of African Union Mission in Somalia until 30 September 2011,” United Nations Security Council, December 22, 2010. Available:
[4] “1,800 More UPDF Sent to Somalia,” New Vision Online,
[5] “Somalia’s al Shabaab Say to Attack Uganda, Burundi,” Reuters, December 23, 2010. Available:
[6] “Somali Extremeists Seize Coastal District as Islamist Fighters Surrender to Moderate Group,” All Headline News, December 23, 2010. Available: extremists seize coastal district as Islamist fighters surrender to moderate group
[7] “Personal Safety and Ongoing Terrorist Threat (Dec 21, 2010),” U.S. Embassy Kampala, Uganda, December 21, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somaliland Charges 6 Over Plane with Military Fatigues,” Reuters, December 23, 2010. Available:
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