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: Air force men and officers parade through Sana’a, demanding the resignation of air force chief; Abdullah Qairan leaves Yemen for Egypt, where a human rights organization demands he be put on trial; al Qaeda-linked militants give lashes to four people accused of drinking alcohol in Jaar; Yemeni military demands that al Qaeda-linked militants surrender Zinjibar and Jaar; Qatar reopens its embassy

Horn of Africa: Gunmen open fire on a checkpoint in Mandera, Kenya; TFG and al Shabaab clash in Luq; overnight fighting near Qoqani kills five al Shabaab militants and one TFG soldier; landmine blast in Mogadishu’s soccer stadium kills at least five civilians

Yemen Security Brief

  • Officers and men of the Yemeni Air Force paraded down 60th Street in Sana’a, continuing their protests against the Yemeni Air Force’s commander, Mohammed Saleh Al Ahmar, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s half-brother. The officers said that they would escalate their protests until they achieved their goal.[1]
  • On February 27, Brigadier General Abdullah Qairan, the former head of security forces in Aden and, afterwards, Taiz, reportedly left Yemen. He went to Cairo to pursue higher education in “police sciences.” The Arab Organization for Human Rights, an Egyptian organization, made appeals to Egyptian authorities to arrest Qairan and put him on trial for killing peaceful Yemeni protesters.[2]
  • Al Qaeda-linked militants administered lashes, 80 each, to four people accused of drinking alcohol in Jaar in Abyan governorate. The incident took place on February 26 in front of dozens of witnesses.[3]
  • The Yemeni military has reportedly warned al Qaeda-linked militants in Zinjibar and Jaar to surrender within the week; they are poised to storm the cities if the militants do not.[4]
  • Qatar reopened its embassy in Sana’a on February 27, after having been closed for eight months due to the violence and destabilizing conditions in Yemen. The Qatari diplomatic mission left in May 2011, when fighting broke out between forces loyal to then President Ali Abdullah Saleh and tribal forces under Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Gunmen opened fire on a checkpoint in Mandera, Kenya. One Kenyan soldier and one assailant were reportedly killed in the attack. It is not immediately known whether or not the gunmen were linked to al Shabaab.[6]
  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops clashed with al Shabaab militants near the Kenyan border in Luq district in Gedo region overnight. Residents reported that both sides exchanged heavy gunfire and artillery. The number of dead and injured is not yet known.[7]
  • TFG officer Abdi Hassan confirmed that overnight clashes between TFG soldiers and al Shabaab militants killed one soldier and five militants in Qoqani in Lower Jubba region. Al Shabaab shelled and shot at a TFG military convoy travelling from Dhobley to Qoqani. The militants were killed during a counterattack.[8]
  • At least five civilians were killed in a landmine blast in Mogadishu’s soccer stadium on February 27. TFG officials have accused al Shabaab over the attack. No arrests have been made.[9]   

[1] “Continuing Protests of Air Force Employees and Parade On 60th Street in Sana’a,” Al Masdar Online, February 28, 2012. Available:
[2] “Qairan Departs to Cairo to Continue Higher Education and Egyptian Organization Requests that Authorities Arrest and Prosecute Him,” Al Masdar Online, February 27, 2012. Available:
[3] “Al Qaeda Lashes Four Yemenis for Drinking Alcohol,” AFP, February 27, 2012. Available:
[4] “Yemen Army Gives Militants Linked to al-Qaeda a Week to Leave Cities South of Yemen,” Yemen Online, February 28, 2012. Available:
[5] “Qatari Ambassador Returns to Sana’a After Eight Months of Its Being Closed,” Al Masdar Online, February 27, 2012. Available:
[6] “2 Killed in Mander Attack against Kenya Army,” February 28, 2012. Available:
[7] “Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab Attacks TFG Forces in Gedo Region,” Shabelle Media Network, February 28, 2012. Available:
[8] “9 Dead, 2 Wounded in Southern Somalia Fighting,” Shabelle Media Network, February 28, 2012. Available:
[9] “Death Toll of Football Kids Bombed by al Shabaab Rises to Five,” TFG, February 28, 2012. Available:
“Somalia: Landmine Hid at Mogadishu Football Stadium Injures 7,” Mareeg Online, February 27, 2012. Available:
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