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: 40 al Houthi rebels released; Interior Ministry warns against unauthorized protests

Horn of Africa: Clashes in Mogadishu kill four civilians; TFG military commander says forces will recapture Beledweyne; al Shabaab detains men in Galgudud region; al Shabaab executes boy in Lower Jubba region; UN Special Representative for Somalia meets with Ethiopian officials

Yemen Security Brief

  • At least 40 additional al Houthi rebels have been released from al Kahza jail in Sa’ada governorate, according to al Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam.  He added that the group is awaiting the release of detainees in Hodeida, Hajjah, and Sana’a governorates.[1]
  • Yemen’s Interior Ministry warned opposition parties against unauthorized demonstrations.  Security forces will shut down these demonstrations and participants will face police action, according to the ministry.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Clashes between Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers in Mogadishu killed at least four civilians and injured three others in El Gelow neighborhood of Wadajir district.[3]
  • The leading commander of the TFG military forces in Hiraan region, Ahmed Inji, announced that his forces were preparing to recapture Beledweyne.  He said, “Our forces close to Beled-weyn town and they are in less than 5KM to the city, they will liberate the whole region from Shabab militia.”  Ahmed Osman Abdale, a government military officer in Hiraan region, added, “A large number of our forces are at a place about 15 KM from Beletweyne. In the days to come, we launch a large-scale offensive throughout Hiran.”[4]
  • Al Shabaab detained three men in Elbur district of the central Galgudud region.  Residents report that militants have conducted operations around Elbur and that militias patrol the district.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants in the southern Lower Jubba region publicly executed a boy about 24 km west of the port-city of Kismayo.  His family said that the boy had a mental illness and would use English, which made al Shabaab suspicious of him.[6]
  • UN Special Representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga met with the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn met in Addis Ababa to discuss the security situation in Somalia.  Mahiga also expressed concern over the “ideological rejection” of Western-donated humanitarian assistance by al Shabaab.  He said, “We hope there will be a relaxation of this restriction to avert what is an impending crisis and a catastrophe of really serious proportions.”[7]

[1] “40 Additional Houthi Followers Released from Sa’ada Prisons,” Yemen Post, January 5, 2011.  Available:
[2] “Yemen’s Interior Ministry Warns of Unauthorized Protests,” Yemen Post, January 5, 2011.  Available:
[3] “4 Die as Somali Gov’t Forces Clash in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, January 6, 2011.  Available:
[4] “Somali Forces Threaten to Take Over a Region in Central Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, January 6, 2011.  Available:
“Government Army in Hiiraan Region Threaten to Remove al-Shabab Militias,” Mareeg Online, January 6, 2011.  Available:
[5] “Al-Shabab Forces Detain 3 Men in El-Bur District,” Mareeg Online, January 6, 2011.  Available:
[6] “Al Shabaab Executes Mad Teenage Boy in Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, January 6, 2011.  Available:
[7] “UN Envoy, Ethiopian FA Minister Hold Talks on Somalia,” Raxanreeb Radio, January 6, 2011.  Available:
“Somalia: Lifting of Aid Restrictions Vital Ahead of Impending Drought, UN Envoy Stresses,” UN News, January 5, 2011.  Available:
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