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: Senators plan trip to Yemen
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab spokesman criticizes UN, warns of renewed violence; Puntland minister criticizes effectiveness of international military aid to TFG; TFG minister appeals to Arab nations for drought relief, asks al Shabaab to allow international aid groups to operate; Galmudug officials meet to discuss security situation; Somali man living in U.S. charged with supporting al Shabaab
Yemen Security Brief
- Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, will accompany Michigan Senator Carl Levin, the committee’s chairman, and Vermont Senator Jon Tester, a member of the Appropriations Committee, on a trip to Yemen following stops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The senators will be briefed on security and geopolitical developments.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage responded to Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s claims that the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), together with the international community, could defeat al Shabaab, describing Mohamed’s comments as “a dream.” Rage criticized Mohamed’s recent trip to New York, saying “The [UN Security Council] special meeting on Somalia in New York was a forum in which Somali government officials were begging for infidels,” and told Somalis to “get ready” for renewed fighting between the government and al Shabaab. Rage also attacked the Somali press, alleging that local media outlets were spreading incorrect information about al Shabaab.
- Daud Mohamed Omar, Puntland’s Planning and International Cooperation Minister, told reporters that international aid and military training for TFG soldiers is “ineffective,” continuing to say, “More than 12,000 security forces have been trained for the TFG with international support. So the question is: where are they today? Are they defending Mogadishu? No, because most of them have joined the insurgency?” Omar also clarified that Puntland’s decision to cease cooperation with the TFG was not a precursor to secession, but part of a plan to seek “Somali unity by singling out the wrong things.”
- Fatuma Hassan Ali, the TFG deputy minister for women and family affairs, appealed to Arab nations to provide aid for drought-affected areas in Somalia. Ali also asked al Shabaab, who have banned more than twenty international aid and humanitarian groups from operating in areas under their control, to allow aid to reach civilians in need.
- The deputy minister of information of Galmudug administration, Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, reported that Colonel Mohamed Ahmed Alin, president of the Galmudug administration in central Somalia, met with local elders. According to Hassan, participants discussed the growing security threats in the area. The Galmudug administration governs the Mudug region south of Galkayo and the Galgudud region.
- A Somali national living in the U.S. has been charged with providing a “deadly pipeline” for transferring funds from the U.S. to al Shabaab. Abdi Aziz Hogolof, who also posses both Dutch and American passports, left Somalia in 1991 to for the Netherlands, where he claimed asylum until 1999, when he traveled to the U.S.