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: The U.S. is sending more Special Forces to aid Yemeni counterterror efforts; the international community urges Yemen to reform and fight corruption; drug addiction grows among al Houthis; Yemen to join WTO in 2010
Horn of Africa: After a drawn out seven hour battle in Mogadishu, 18 remain dead and dozens injured; the UN WFP is set to resume operations in southern Somalia; Somaliland explosion raises concern over security and stability
Yemen Security Brief
- The Pentagon has decided to increase Special Forces personnel to Yemen in an effort to defeat AQAP forces. Forces are only expected to grow as the plan unfolds. The U.S. is hoping to develop strong relationships with Yemeni forces through rotations and longer tours of the elite Special Forces. This move is part of a larger U.S. military and economic initiative towards Yemen.
- Progress was made as international leaders gathered in London to discuss the situation in Yemen. There was a consensus upon leaders to strengthen Yemeni government, security, and counterterror capacities. It was highly stressed that the sovereignty and independence of Yemen to deal with its internal affairs be upheld and for no interference to occur.
- Police forces in the northern governorate of Sa’ada have confiscated 3 kg of hashish. Yemeni authorities stated drug addiction among the al Houthi insurgents has been increasing dramatically and have made numerous drug-related arrests in the areas controlled by the al Houthis.
- Yemen is reportedly set to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the end of 2010 after signing an agreement in the seventh round of WTO in Geneva.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- After a seven hour battle in Mogadishu between TFG forces backed by the AU forces and al Shabaab, 18 people, including civilians, were killed, and dozens more were injured. There was a significant exchange of both light and heavy firing occurring in simultaneous clashes all over the capital.
- The WFP is set to resume food and aid distribution to southern Somalia in March or April. The program’s operation was initially suspended due to attacks and extortion from the Islamist insurgent group al Shabaab. It was noted by a UN official the amount of food available to Somalis will be sufficient due to the results of the post-harvest period.
- A bomb explosion in territory claimed by both Somaliland and Puntland killed one, and injured five, one of whom was the governor of the Sool region, Askar Farah Hussein. This attack raised deep concern over the sufficiency of Somaliland government presence in the region. This bombing is the fifth to occur in the region claimed by both Somaliland and Puntland since October 2009.
 “Pentagon to Send More Special Forces Troops to Yemen,” The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2010. Available: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704094304575029504272764876.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
 “Yemen Urged in London to Implement More Reforms, Fight Corruption,” Yemen Post, January 29, 2010. Available: http://www.yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=1818&MainCat=3
 “Yemen says drug addiction growing among Houthis,” Yemen News Agency (SABA), January 29, 2010. Available: http://www.sabanews.net/en/news204446.htm
 “Yemen accession to WTO in 2010,” Yemen News Agency (SABA), January 29, 2010. Available: http://www.sabanews.net/en/news204426.htm
 “7 hours battle in the Somali capital Mogadishu 20 dead,” Somaliaweyn, January 29, 2010. Available: http://www.somaliweyn.org/pages/news/Jan_10/29Jan17.html
 “WFP to resume operations in southern Somalia,” Garowe Online, January 28, 2010. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/WFP_to_resume_operations_in_southern_Somalia.shtml
 “Explosions Raise Fears Over Somaliland Stability,” IRIN, January 29, 2010. Available: http://allafrica.com/stories/201001290886.html