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: Yemen to be six-region federation; car bomb kills intelligence officer in Sana’a; gunmen attack military checkpoint in Aden; al Houthis and tribesmen sign ceasefire agreement

Horn of Africa: Explosion in Mogadishu injures Deputy Governor of Lower Shabelle region; Somali Special Forces conduct security operation in Lower Shabelle region; Kenyan police arrest three al Shabaab suspects in Mandera county; local militia kills fourteen civilians in Lower Jubba region; unidentified gunmen kill Somali soldier in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • A presidential committee established to determine the shape of a federalized Yemeni state decided on a six-region federation. The regions are Hadramawt (Hadramawt, Shabwah, al Mahrah, and Socotra), Saba (al Jawf, Ma’rib, and al Bayda), Aden (Aden, Abyan, Lahij, and al Dhaleh), al Janad (Taiz and Ibb), Azal (Sana’a, Dhamar, Amran, and Sa’ada), and Tahama (al Hudaydah, Raymah, al Mahwit, and Hajjaj). The capital, Sana’a, will not be affiliated with any of the regions. Separately, tens of thousands of Yemeni youth rallied in Sana’a on February 7, calling on the government to implement the National Dialogue Conference roadmap.[1]
  • A bomb planted under the driver’s seat detonated when the car neared the oil ministry building in Sana’a on February 9. Intelligence officer Colonel Mohammed Fadhel Hussein was killed in the blast, which also injured his bodyguard and two bystanders.[2] 
  • Gunmen attacked a military checkpoint operated by the 131st Armored Brigade in al Shaab in al Burayqa district outside Aden, killing a soldier and wounding two others on February 10. Two of the attackers were injured in the assault as well.[3]
  • Al Houthi fighters and tribesmen signed a new ceasefire on February 9. The ceasefire agreement stipulated that both sides would remove the checkpoints established along the roads in Arhab district and that the Yemeni army would assume responsibility for patrolling the area. Reports indicate that the al Houthis violated the terms of the agreement and attempted to occupy new positions on Mount Nisr and Mount Shabaka, killing four people.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The Deputy Governor of Lower Shabelle region, Ahmed Omar Mudane, was injured by an explosion while travelling in Mogadishu on February 10. A car bomb appears to have caused the explosion, indicating that the deputy governor was the intended target. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, al Shabaab has used car bombs to assassinate government officials in the past.[5]
  • Somali Special Forces’ Alpha team conducted a security operation near Afgoi in Lower Shabelle region on February 8. The Special Forces team successfully detained several individuals suspected of operating road blocks along the Mogadishu-Afgoi highway.[6]
  • Kenyan police arrested three armed individuals suspected of belonging to al Shabaab on February 8. The individuals, Hussein Olat Duro, Osman Mohamed Noor, and Adan Abdirahman Hussein, were arrested in Mandera county shortly after entering Kenya from Somalia. Police suspect that the individuals, who were carrying a video camera, intended to conduct surveillance on potential targets.[7]
  • The Ras Kamboni militia killed fourteen civilians in Kismayo in Lower Jubba region over the three days spanning February 8 to February 10. Among the civilians killed in the clan-based violence was a prominent elder, Abdi Hurre Hassan. The Ras Kamboni militia is officially commanded by the interim leader of the Jubba administration, Ahmed Madobe.[8]
  • Unidentified gunmen killed a Somali government soldier in the Hodan district of Mogadishu on February 7. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the shooting. It remains unclear if the incident is related to the February 7 killing of a prominent cleric, Sheikh Abdihamid Sheikh Abdil Bari Fiqi, in Mogadishu’s Wadajir district.[9]     

[1] “In a Meeting Chaired by the President to Recognize the Final Regions of the Federalized State on the Basis of Six Regions (incomplete),”  SABA News Agency, February 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Tens of thousands of Yemenis protest to mark anniversary of the revolution and demand the implementation of the NDC plan (pictures),” al Masdar Online, February 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Bomb kills Yemen intelligence officer,” AFP, February 9. 2014. Available:
“Car bomb kills intelligence officer in Yemen capital,” Gulf News, February 9, 2014. Available:
[3] “One killed and four wounded including three soldiers in attack on military checkpoint in Ashab in Aden,” Akhbaralyom, February 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Yemen Shiite rebels, tribes agree on a truce,” AFP, February 9, 2014. Available:
“Committee Source: Houthi elements haven't left Arhab after signing; al Arshani: the Houthis broke the ceasefire from Gharan and tried to cross onto Mount Nisr and Shabaka,” Akhbaralyom, February 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available;
“4 Fatalities in renewed armed clashes in Arhab,” al Watanye, February 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Deputy Governor of Lower Shabelle injured in an explosion in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, February 10, 2014. Available:
[6] “Alpha four conduct successful operation in Mogadishu neighborhood,” Dalsan Radio, February 8, 2014. Available:
[7] Dominic Wabala, “3 Shabaab suspects arrested in Mandera,” The Star, February 10, 2014. Available:
[8] “Kismayo: Local militia kill 14 civilians including well known elder and women,” Dalsan Radio, February 10, 2014. Available:
[9] “Somalia: Two people shot dead in Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, February 7, 2014. Available:
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