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: Presidential Committee blames Houthis for cease-fire breach; Minister of Planning meets Chinese Ambassador; second U.S.-Yemen Strategic Dialogue meeting; al Haq leader criticizes President Hadi; al Islah party calls for peace; new religious coalition formed in Sana’a
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks AMISOM base in Beledweyne, Hiraan; man found beheaded in Malindi, Kenya; al Shabaab claims 39 attacks in two-week period; Ahlu Sunna bans book in central Somalia; Kenyan court denies bail to Westgate suspects
Yemen Security Brief
- The Presidential Commission accused the al Houthis of breaching the most recent ceasefire, citing the detention of two Yemenis who were bringing food and supplies through a security checkpoint. The committee called on Abdul Malik al Houthi, the al Houthi leader, to compel his people to stop fighting as “small arms fire has not stopped throughout the past few days.”
- Mohammad al Sa’adi, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation met with Chinese Ambassador to Yemen Chang Hwa on December 3. The two discussed President Hadi’s most recent visit to China, and the importance of developing a strong bilateral relationship.
- The Yemeni Minister of Defense visited the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on December 2 for the second session of the U.S.-Yemen Strategic Dialogue. Tom Kelly, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Events, reaffirmed “continued U.S. support,” for the National Dialogue and the U.S., “ongoing commitment to developing a broad, long-term cooperative relationship with Yemen.”
- Secretary-General of the al Haq party Hassan Zaid accused the Yemeni central government of lacking any recognizable presence in Sa’ada governorate. “Without effective institutions,” Zaid claims, “all things [are] in the hands of the group Ansar Allah, the Houthis.” Zaid urged President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to reconsider stronger implementation of the ceasefire in Dammaj.
- Abdul Wahab al Ansi, the head of al Islah party, called for the Yemeni people to “rally around the coalition government” and, “successfully complete the country transition of power.”
- On December 2, Yemen’s Supreme National Authority for Combatting Corruption (SNACC) signed an agreement with the Yemeni Ministry of Endowments and Guidance. SNACC president Afrah Ba Dawilan noted that the, “new religious coalition” will, “play an important role in combatting corruption, instilling values of integrity” within Yemeni politics and government.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Fierce clashes between al Shabaab militants and AMISOM troops took place the evening of December 3 at an AMISOM base in Beledweyne, Hiraan region. Al Shabaab attacked the base, and there are reports of heavy casualties.
- Kenyan police are investigating the murder of Faiz Mohamed Bwarusi (Mwarusi), also known as Faiz Fufai, in Malindi, Kenya. Faiz had been found beheaded on the Ngomeni beach on December 2. Local sources alleged that Faiz had been murdered by al Shabaab militants on suspicions of being a double agent. He is said to have spent time in Somalia and had reportedly been arrested before for ties to al Shabaab-affiliated Sheikh Aboud Rogo Mohammed.
- Al Shabaab’s media arm, al Kata’ib Foundation, released eleven communiques on November 30 claiming credit for 39 attacks in Lower Shabelle region, as well as Banadir, Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Jubba, and Hiraan regions between October 6 and October 20. The group also noted that it had opened up a mental hospital in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region on October 13 and that it had completed a shari’a course for clan elders in Dinsor, Bay region on October 18.
- Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a renewed a ban on a book, Islamic Education, in central Somalia schools on November 18, according to the Executive Committee Deputy Chairman Ahmed Abdullahi Mohamud. The book contained justifications for suicide bombings.
- A Kenyan court denied bail to Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah, Adnan Ibrahim, and Hussein Hassan, who were charged with the September Westgate attack. The men are accused of providing shelter to the militants who carried out the attack.