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 Defense Minister chairs meeting on armed forces’ restructuring; Amran leaders meet to discuss cooperation; Coast Guard confiscates two-way radios; tribesmen blow up Ma’rib oil pipeline

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab suicide attack targets Somali national security forces in Mogadishu; Somali president names new mayor of Mogadishu; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a announces offensive against al Shabaab in Gedo region; al Shabaab seize town in Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemen’s Defense Minister, Major General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, met with the Deputy Chief of General Staff, Major General Abdul Bari al Shamiri, and other ranking officials to discuss the restructuring of Yemen’s armed forces on February 27.[1]
  • Amran leaders met on February 27 to discuss the need to cooperate with and support the efforts of the local authority. The meeting was attended by the Sufyan axis and 310th Armored Brigade commander Major General Hamid al Qushaibi and Special Forces commander Brigadier General Yahya al Habari.[2]
  • Tribesmen blew up an oil pipeline in Rabbab village in Sirwah district, about 40 km to the west of Ma’rib city, on February 27.[3]
  • Yemeni Coast Guard forces confiscated 80 two-way radios at al Hudaydah port on February 26. Coast Guard operations chief Shuja’a Mahdi said that the radios are counterfeit and can only receive frequencies at a distance of no more than 300-400 meters. The equipment is frequently used by armed groups to communicate, as military-grade radios can be used at much longer distances.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An al Shabaab militant detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) near a café in the Abdi Aziz district of Mogadishu on February 27. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdi Aziz Abu Mus’ab claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, stating the operation targeted Somali national security personnel in the café located near the Somali national security headquarters. Initial reports indicate that at least ten people were killed, including national security personnel and civilians and eight others wounded in the explosion.[5]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud officially appointed Hassan Mohamed Hussein Mungab mayor of Mogadishu and governor of Banadir region on February 27. Mungab, who formerly served as a military court chairman, replaced Mohamud Ahmed Nour Tarsan amidst an effort by the Somali Federal Government to bolster security in Mogadishu.[6]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a spokesman Mohamed Hussein Isack, known as al Qadi, announced an impending offensive against al Shabaab in Gedo region. Isack called for the local population to cooperate with Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a forces and reject the presence of al Shabaab in order to restore stability to the region.[7]
  • Al Shabaab seized control of Mubarak locality near the Bariirre administrative area in Lower Shabelle region from Somali government troops on February 26. The Somali troops withdrew from Mubarak without resisting the al Shabaab militants.[8]    

[1] “Defense Minister Chaired a Meeting of the Teams Restructuring the Armed Forces,” SABA News Agency, February 27, 2014. Available:
[2] “A Meeting of Amran Leaders Confirms Need for Cooperation to Prevent Armed Factions,” SABA News Agency, February 27, 2014. Available:
[4] Sina Khaled, “80 Two-Way Radios Confiscated in Hodeida,” Yemen Times, February 26, 2014. Available:
[5] “Somalia’s Mogadishu city hit by car bomb blast,” BBC, February 27, 2014. Available:
“Deadly car bomb hits Somali capital,” Al Jazeera, February 27, 2014. Available:
“Suicide car bomber kills at least 10 in Somali capital: police,” Bar Kulan, February 27, 2014. Available:
[6] “Somalia: President Hassan names new Mogadishu mayor,” Garowe Online, February 27, 2014. Available:
[7] “SOMALIA: ‘We will liberate Al-shabab from Gedo Region in the coming days’ vows Ahlu Sunna,” RBC Radio, February 27, 2014. Available:
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