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: Militants kill 15 Yemeni soldiers in attack in Hadramawt; reported U.S. airstrikes kill suspected AQAP militants in Abyan; suspected AQAP militants kill soldier and injure another in attack in al Bayda; tribesmen kill two soldiers in Lahij governorate; tribesmen blow up oil pipeline in Hadramawt; presidential committee attempts to negotiate ceasefire between al Houthis and tribesmen in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a urges al Shabaab to pursue peace; unidentified gunmen hijack bus in Nairobi; Ethiopian AMISOM troops inflame crowds in Bay region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Unknown militants killed at least fifteen Yemeni soldiers and wounded others in an attack on a military checkpoint in Shibam district in Hadramawt governorate, on January 31. The attack occurred while the soldiers were eating lunch.[1] 
  • Yemeni eye witnesses reported that an airstrike killed suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in al Mahfad district in Abyan governorate on January 31.  Additionally, a Yemeni security source reported that another airstrike conducted by the U.S. killed an unknown number of suspected AQAP in the same area on January 29.[2]
  • Suspected AQAP militants attacked a Yemeni security checkpoint in al Bayda district on January 31. One soldier died and another was injured from the assault.[3]
  • Tribesmen ambushed a Yemeni army unit in al Milah district in Lahij governorate on January 30. Two militants and two soldiers died in the fighting.[4]
  • Tribesmen blew up an oil pipeline near the Masila Basin in Hadramawt governorate on January 30. Separately, unknown assailants attacked electrical power lines in Nihm district east of the capital Sana’a on January 30, causing power disruptions in several Yemeni cities.[5]
  • A presidential committee attempted to negotiate a ceasefire between al Houthis militants and tribesmen in Arhab district, Sana’a governorate, on January 31.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a Executive Chairman, Sheikh Abdirizak Ali Mire, called for al Shabaab to abandon its struggle against the Federal Government of Somalia and pursue peace negotiations.  Mire warned, however, that al Shabaab’s foreign fighters in Somalia will not participate in a negotiation process.[7]
  • Five unidentified gunmen hijacked a bus in Nairobi and drove it to Muhoho near Kiganjo in Kenya’s Central Province before fleeing.  The driver and a passenger were killed and twenty others injured as the gunmen periodically cast passengers from the bus during the police pursuit. The motive of the hijacking was determined as robbery.[8]
  • Ethiopian AMISOM forces expelled protestors and halted a regional conference in Baidoa in the Bay region on January 30.  In response, the protestors angrily demonstrated against the Somali Federal Government outside of the convention hall.  The conference met to discuss the possible formation of an autonomous federal state consisting of Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba, and Lower Shabelle regions.[9]
[1] “While eating their lunch, several killed and wounded in armed attack on military checkpoint in Shibam Hadramawt,” Mareb Press, January 31, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2]“Several killed and wounded in American strike in al Mahfad district in Abyan,” al Montasaf, January 31, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemen: American drone hits locations in Abyan governorate,” al Tagheer, January 30, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Soldier killed and another wounded in attack launched by unknown gunmen on security checkpoint in al Bayda,” al Masdar Online, January 31, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “While gunmen protest military reinforcements from Base al And... 4 killed including two soldiers and other wounded as a unit is destroy in an armed ambush in al Milah,” Akhbaralyom, January 31, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “New bombing targets oil pipeline in Hadramawt,” al Watanye, January 30, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Ma'rib station left without service because of 'iron strike' attack in Nihm east of Sana'a,” al Masdar Online, January 30, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Tribesmen demand the al Houthis leave and require 101 rifles for their killed to negotiate... Presidential Committee on stopping the clashes in Arhab will begin its work today,” Akhbaralyom, January 31, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “ASWJ calls on Al Shabaab to lay down arms,” Bar Kulan, January 31, 2014. Available:
[8] Zadock Angira and Oliver Musembi, “Two killed, 20 injured in Githurai bus hijacking,” Daily Nation, January 31, 2014. Available:
[9] “Somalia: AMISOM halts Baidoa regional conference,” Garowe Online, January 30, 2014. Available:
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