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: Five AQAP suspects arrested; opposition leader calls for continued protest; Joint Meeting Parties accepts Saleh’s offer of televised debate; government announces new media regulations

Horn of Africa: Three people killed in fighting between al Shabaab and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a; AMISOM forces injure four civilians in shooting; al Shabaab communiqués announce livestock donations, punishment of thief, claim credit for grenade attack; TFG district commissioner criticizes AMISOM; Ethiopian soldiers briefly detain Somali journalist

Yemen Security Brief

  • Security forces arrested five suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives in Abyan governorate. The men are thought to have been behind an earlier attack on a military convoy passing through the region.  One of the five was Ameen Saleh al Maksar, reportedly injured in a clash with security forces in Lawder district.[1] 
  • Abdul Malik al Mutawakil, head of the supreme council of the opposition, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), called for continued peaceful demonstrations, telling protestors that “the time has come for the political parties to lead massive protest against the corrupt and repressive regime and dictatorship.”[2]
  • Mohammed al Qubati, spokesman of the JMP, announced that the JMP is ready to accept President Saleh’s offer and engage in a live debate on al Jazeera. Al Qubati said that the JMP will only engage in dialogue with the government if President Saleh guarantees that repressive legislation passed during the past two weeks of demonstrations will be repealed.[3]
  • Minister of Information Hassan al Lawzi, speaking to the head of the EU delegation to Yemen, announced changes in the administration’s stance towards the media, explaining, “the new law bans imprisoning or arresting any journalist for practicing his profession or for expressing their views. The law, however, stipulates financial punishments of violators.” Al Lawzi also added that the new law reduced restrictions on publications, and was fully in compliance with the International Convent on Civil and Political Rights.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Three people died as fighting broke out in the Galgudud region in central Somalia between al Shabaab militants and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a fighters. Ahlu Sunna spokesman Sheikh Abdirazak Mohammed told Shabelle Media Network that Ahlu Sunna fighters attacked al Shabaab positions in the village of Wardhumalo in response to al Shabaab’s refusal to allow foreign aid to reach needy civilians.[5]
  • AMISOM forces in Mogadishu reportedly opened fire on a crowd rushing to the aid of a teenage boy struck by a vehicle, injuring four people. The shooting occurred along the main road between Mogadishu airport and the KM 4 Junction.[6]
  • Al Shabaab published a series of communiqués, announcing the punishment of a 20-year old thief in Tiza village, south of Mogadishu in Banadir region, the distribution of 4357 sheep and 1313 cows to needy Muslims in the Lower Shabelle region, and taking credit for a grenade attack on Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces near the Ambassador Hotel along Makka al Mukarama road in the Waberi district of Mogadishu.[7]
  • Ahmed Hassan Addow, TFG commissioner of Wadajir district, accused AMISOM forces of failing to accomplish their goals and called for them to withdraw “if they are not doing what they are assigned,” adding that AMISOM forces had been responsible for significant civilian casualties in Mogadishu. Addow also complained that aid agencies had been unable to provide relief to areas relatively unaffected by fighting.[8]
  • Ethiopian soldiers arrested Somali journalist Abdullahi Qalif Nur in the Ethiopian village of Dhudub. Nur, who works for Radio Abudwaq in the Galgudud region of Somalia, was travelling to Puntland when he was taken into custody. He was released within 24 hours after local elders intervened on his behalf.[9]



[1] “Yemeni Forces Arrest 5 Terror Suspects,” Saba News, January 25, 2011. Available:
“Five al Qaeda Suspects Arrested: Interior Ministry,” Yemen Post, January 25, 2011. Available:
[2] “Opposition Starts Popular Protest Against Corrupt Regime,” Yemen Post, January 24, 2011. Available:
[3] “Opposition Calls President Saleh For Live Debate on al Jazeera,” Yemen Post, January 25, 2011. Available:
[4] “Practice of Journalism Transcends Legal Boundaries in Yemen,” Saba News, January 24, 2011. Available:
[5] “Al Shabaab and Ahlu Sunna Clash in Galgudud Region,” Shabelle Media Network, January 24, 2011. Available:
Ahmed Muse Gure, “Somalia: Clashes Between al Shabaab and Ahlu Sunnah in Central Somalia,” Somaliweyn Online, January 25, 2011. Available:
[6] “AU Forces Shoot and Wound Civilians in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, January 25, 2011. Available:
Abdi Hajji Hussein, “Somalia: AMISOM Shoots Civilians in Mogadishu,” All Headline News, January 25, 2011. Available:
[7] “Shabaab Reports Charity Distribution, Punishment for Theft,” SITE Intel Group, January 24, 2011. Available at SITE
[8] “District Commissioner in Mogadishu Calls AMISOM to Withdraw From Somalia,” Mareeg Online, January 23, 2011. Available:
[9] “Ethiopian Forces Arrest Somali Journalist,” Shabelle Media Network, January 24, 2011. Available:
“After One Day in Custody, Somali Journalist Freed,” Shabelle Media Network, January 25, 2011:
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