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: Tribesmen seize control of oil ministry building in Hadramawt; tribesmen attack oil pipeline in Ma’rib; Yemeni court upholds sentencing of al Qaeda members

Horn of Africa: Somali federal government bans Christian celebrations; al Shabaab attacks Somali army base in Gedo region; al Shabaab ambushes Ethiopian convoy; Somali units clash in Hiraan region; landmine explodes near Kismayo airport

Yemen Security Brief

  • Members of the al Kathiri tribe seized control of an oil ministry building in Hadramawt governorate on December 26, according to tribal sources and oil ministry employees. The tribesmen are demanding that the government hand over the soldiers responsible for the death of a tribal leader earlier this month. Attacks on army checkpoints near Wadi Hadramawt killed at least four people, including two soldiers, on December 23.[1]
  • Tribesmen attacked an oil pipeline in Ma’rib governorate on December 25 for the third time in a week. It is believed the attackers were from the al Rukaisan tribe in al Wadi district.[2]
  • The special penal court in Sana’a upheld the sentences handed down to Tunisian Nizar Abdulrahman al Jumaihi and Yemeni Ibrahim Ali al Matari. Dhagestani national Mohammed Ghazif Rasoul and Yemenis Abdulrahman Ali Ghuraibi, Ahmed Abdu al Moalad, and Ziad Abdulhamid al Mashre’ah were released on time served.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A directive from the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs banned Christian festivities in Somalia as of December 24. The Director General of the Ministry Sheikh Mohamed Khayrow Aden and the Director of Religious Affairs Sheikh Ali Sheikh Mohamud (Ali Dhere) announced the decision.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali government army bases near Garbaharey, the capital of Gedo region, late on December 24. At least four al Shabaab militants were killed in the ensuing fight. The Garbaharey district commissioner Iman Adom Karshe reported that one government soldier had been killed and seven al Shabaab fighters were killed. Ethiopian troops that had been based in Beled Hawo reportedly reinforced positions near Garbaharey.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed an Ethiopian armored convoy on the road running between Bay region and Beled Hawo in Gedo region. Casualty figures have not been reported.[6]
  • Two units of Somali government troops clashed in Kalabayar Junction town, about 25 km from Beledweyne in Hiraan region on December 25. Ethiopian troops intervened to end the fighting. At least two Somali soldiers were injured.[7]
  • A landmine exploded along the road from the airport in Kismayo in Lower Jubba region on December 26, prompting Jubba Administration Security Forces to open fire. One woman was injured.[8]


[1] “Tribesmen Seize Oil Ministry Building in East Yemen,” Reuters, December 26, 2013. Available:
[2] Ali Saeed and Rammah al Jubari, “Oil Pipeline in Marib Sustains Multiple Attacks in One Week,” Yemen Times, December 26, 2013. Available:
[3] “Court Upholds 3-5 Year Prison Sentence to al-Qaeda Members,” Saba News Agency, December 25, 2013. Available:
[4] “Somalia Bans Christmas Celebrations,” Mareeg Online, December 26, 2013. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Federal Govt Troops and al Shabaab Clash in Gedo Region,” Garowe Online, December 25, 2013. Available:
“Eight Killed in the Outskirts of Garbaharey, Gedo Region,” Bar Kulan, December 25, 2013. Available:
O. A. Osman, “More Information on Yesterday’s Intense Fighting in Gedo Region,” Shabelle News, December 25, 2013. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Federal Govt Troops and al Shabaab Clash in Gedo Region,” Garowe Online, December 25, 2013. Available:
[7] O. A. Osman, “Infighting Between Gov’t Troops in Hiran Region,” Shabelle News, December 25, 2013. Available:
[8] “One Woman Injured Following an Explosion in Kismayu,” Bar Kulan, December 26, 2013, Available:
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