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: Yemeni political parties sign agreement on Southern Issue; fighting in Dhaleh kills three people; clashes in Ataq, Shabwah, kills five people; Yemeni army units deploy to south to restore order

Horn of Africa: Burundian troops conduct search operations in Mogadishu; AMISOM units deployed to Lower Shabelle; “White Widow” sighted in Bay region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Representatives of 17 Yemeni political parties and civil society groups signed the Outcome Document on the Southern Question the evening of December 23. The document would grant limited autonomy to south Yemen and recognized the “injustice” caused by the 1990 unification of north and south Yemen. Three major Yemeni parties still disagree on a proposal to turn Yemen into a federation of semi-autonomous regions.[1]
  • A firefight in Dhaleh city between southern secessionists and policemen killed two policemen and a civilian on December 23. The secessionists were attempting to take over the governorate building and to raise the flag of the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. At least four policemen, four secessionists, and seven civilians were also injured in the fight.[2]
  • Clashes between Yemeni security forces and southern secessionists in Ataq in Shabwah governorate killed at least five people on December 24.[3]
  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi called for Yemen’s Armed Forces to return order to the south after multiple days of unrest. Residents of Hadramawt governorate reported that tanks and armored vehicles had been deployed there, and that they were prepared for additional clashes.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Burundian AMISOM troops conducted search operations in the Mogadishu suburbs on December 24. The troops went house-to-house in Ex-control Afgoi, Siliga Amerikanka, Sebiano, and Nastexo, arresting dozens of youths. The operations began after two blasts in Siliga Amerikana and Sebiano.[5]
  • AMISOM troops have been deployed into Lower Shabelle region to maintain the peace between two rival clans who have been fighting for the past few months.[6]
  • A report surfaced that Samantha Lewthwaite, the “White Widow,” was sighted moving toward an al Shabaab training camp in the forests outside of Baidoa in Bay region by camel two weeks ago. Somali National Army Colonel Yasin Hiro said that he believes she is in the al Shabaab camps.[7]

[1] “Yemen Parties Agree on ‘Just Solution’ for South,” AFP, December 24, 2013. Available:
Mohammed Ghobari, “Three Big Yemeni Parties Reject Federation Proposal,” Reuters, December 24, 2013. Available:
“Benomar Welcomes Southern Question Outcome Document,” SABA News Agency, December 24, 2013. Available:
[2] “Three Killed in Yemen Secessionists Clashes,” AFP, December 24, 2013. Available:
[3] “5 Killed in Clashes between Yemeni Troops, Southern Separatists,” World Bulletin, December 24, 2013. Available:
[4] “Government Calls the Army to Quell Southern Uprising,” Yemen Post, December 23, 2013. Available:
[5] O. A. Osman, “Dozens of Youth Arrested in Mogadishu Operations,” Shabelle, December 24, 2013. Available:
[6] O. A. Osman, “AMISOM Troops Deployed in Some Districts of the Lower Shabelle Region Following a Prolonged Inter Clan Fightings,” Shabelle, December 24, 2013. Available:
[7] Stewart Whittingham, “White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite See Fleeing on Camel into Snake-Infested Forests,” The Mirror, December 23, 2013. Available:
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