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: Al Houthis release Saudi captive; al Houthis deny assassination attempt of Interior Ministry official; U.S. welcomes ceasefire

Horn of Africa: Uganda to send new troops to Somalia; African Union decides to keep AMISOM on the defensive; District Commissioner wounded by Somali government forces; 4 al Shabaab militants killed; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a officials meets with TFG officials in Ethiopia; thousands flee Mogadishu in February alone

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi rebels released one of the five captured Saudi soldiers to a Yemeni committee that is managing the ceasefire between the insurgents and the Yemeni government. A mediator between the al Houthis and Yemeni government confirms the al Houthis are committed to the six-point ceasefire and handing over the captured Saudi soldiers.[1]
  • Al Houthi fighters deny they were responsible for the assassination attempt of Yemeni Deputy Interior Minister Mohammed al Qawsi. According to al Qawsi, fighters opened fire on his convoy, north of Saada, only hours after the ceasefire with the Yemeni government was implemented.[2]
  • The United States has welcomed the ceasefire between the Yemeni government and the al Houthi rebels. President Obama stated America will continue cooperation with Yemen and its allies in order to ensure that the “political, economic, and social reforms” benefit the Yemeni people.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Uganda has declared they are sending a “fresh” group of peacekeepers to Somalia due to the upcoming relief of the 1,760 troops already there. Uganda also stated they are sending another 1,750 officers in May to relieve other contingency forces.[4]
  • The 15-member African Union Peace and Security Council has dismissed the Ugandan proposal to change the AMISOM mandate in a way that would allow AMISOM soldiers to go on the offensive against insurgents and terrorists. The council determined that a new mandate would complicate the situation and potentially drag AMISOM forces into a no-win situation.[5]
  • Hamrweyne District Commissioner Abdullahi Sahal Gardhub was wounded by Somali government soldiers as they opened fire on his car when his driver did not follow orders and stop the car. The government soldiers opened fire out of fear that the car belonged to a militant group, which, in the past, have failed to abide by commands at checkpoints when planning to carry out attacks with  cars loaded with explosives.[6] 
  • An explosion in Mogadishu left at least four al Shabaab fighters dead and injured ten others. The explosion occurred inside a health center within al Shabaab’s stronghold, the Bakara Market. It was reported that Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur and other top al Shabaab officials were meeting there. It is reported that Abu Mansur escaped unhurt. The cause of the bombing has yet to be officially determined.[7]
  • Officials from Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a met with TFG officials in Addis Ababa to discuss cooperation in defeating al Shabaab and Hizb al Islam.  Ahlu Sunna, a moderate Sufi Islamist group generally opposed to violence, has pledged its support for the TFG, but has reportedly refrained from officially forming an alliance the TFG.[8]
  • Since the beginning of February alone, over 8,000 people have fled Mogadishu due to the fighting between Islamist militants and Somali government forces. The UN stated it is increasing its efforts to deliver emergency relief to the affected Somali people.[9]


[1] “Yemen Houthis Free Saudi Captive,” Al Jazeera, February 15, 2010. Available:

[2] “Yemen Rebels Deny Assassination Bid,” Al Jazzera, February 13, 2010. Available:

[3] “U.S. welcomes ceasefire in Yemen,” Al Sahwa, February 15, 2010. Available:

[4] “Uganda to Send Fresh Troops to Somalia,” Somaliweyn, February 14, 2010. Available:

[5] Michael Wakabi, “Keep the Peace, Don’t Enforce it, the African Union Tells AMISOM,”, February 15, 2010. Available:

[6] “Government Soldiers Wound District Commissioner,” Mareeg Online, February 14, 2010. Available:

[7] “ 4 Al Shabaab Fighters Killed in Bakara Blast,” Garowe Online, February 14, 2010. Available:

[8] “Ahlu Sunnah and Government Hold Talks in Addis Ababa,”, February 14, 2010. Available:

[9] “Thousands Flee Somalia Fighting, says UN Refugee Agency,” Garowe Online, February 13, 2010. Available:

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