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: Fighting continues in Zinjibar; President Saleh and his aides granted immunity from prosecution; Brigadier General Abdullah Qairan dismissed with regard to his involvement in killing protesters

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab reportedly fires top military commander; TFG soldiers clash in Mogadishu killing two soldiers and wounding seven others; Britain’s Foreign Office warns Kenya of militant attacks; heavy fighting erupts between AMISOM and al Shabaab in Mogadishu; fresh Kenyan airstrikes on Garbaharey reportedly kill two civilians; al Shabaab releases two new statements detailing Kenyan airstrikes and an attack in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Review

  • Clashes between al Qaeda-linked militants and Yemeni soldiers broke out in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate on January 7. Six militants and one soldier were killed. Three soldiers were also wounded in the attack.[1]
  • On January 8, Yemen’s Cabinet passed a law that granted immunity from prosecution to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and “all those who worked for him during his presidency across all civilian, military, and security apparatuses.”[2]
  • Taiz security chief Brigadier General Abdullah Qairan was dismissed by the regional council for the role he played in the deaths of protesters. An official stated, “He was involved in killing civilians because he is the one who ordered the forces to fire on protesters and raid protest camps.”[3]

Horn of Africa Security Review

  • Top al Shabaab military commander for Bay, Bakool, and Gedo regions Moallim Jinaw was reportedly relieved from his duties. An estimated 1000 al Shabaab militants remain loyal to Jinaw. Local residents reported that the militants relocated from Gedo to Ramcadey village in Dinsor district in Bay region.[4]
  • Eyewitnesses reported that Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers exchanged fire in Dharkenley district in Mogadishu on January 8. Two soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded.[5]
  • The British Foreign Office released a statement on January 7 warning Kenya of potential terror plots: “We believe that terrorists may be in the final stages of planning attacks. Attacks could be indiscriminate and target Kenyan institutions as well as places where expatriates and foreign travellers gather.”[6]
  • Fighting between al Shabaab militants and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops killed five people and wounded 10 others in Karan, Daynile, and Heliwa districts in Mogadishu on January 7. Local residents reported heavy shelling. Al Hidayo mosque was also shelled during the clash killing three sheikhs. Al Shabaab has since threatened to retaliate against Djiboutian troops for the shelling.[7]
  • Local residents reported that Kenyan airstrikes on Garbaharey in Gedo region killed two civilians on January 7. Kudha district in Lower Jubba region was also allegedly targeted, but no casualties or injuries have been reported.[8]
  • Al Shabaab released two new statements through its media arm al Kata’ib Media Foundation. The first details the continued Kenyan air campaign against al Shabaab, specifically in Jubba and Gedo regions. In the second statement, al Shabaab claims responsibility for the detonation of an explosive device in Mogadishu near the Florence Junction, killing five “crusaders.”[9]

[1] “Seven Dead as Yemen Troops Clash with Militants,” AFP, January 8, 2012. Available:
[2] “Yemen’s Government Approves Law Granting President and His Aides Immunity from Prosecution,” AP, January 8, 2012. Available:
“Government Approves Amnesty Law,” SABA News, January 8, 2012. Available:
[3] “Yemen’s Government Approves Law Granting President and His Aides Immunity from Prosecution,” AP, January 8, 2012. Available:
[4] “Al-Shabaab Fires Top Commander,” Somalia Report, January 9, 2012. Available:
[5] “Government Soldiers Exchange Fire in Mogadishu-Somalia,” Mareeg Online, January 8, 2012. Available:
[6] Duncan Miriri, “Britain Warns of Militant Attacks on Kenya,” Reuters, January 9, 2012. Available:
[7] “Heavy Shelling Takes Place in Somali Capital,” Mareeg Online, January 8, 2012. Available:
“Somali Rebel Group Threatens to Djabouti,” Mareeg Online, January 9, 2012. Available:
[8] Abdalle Ahmed, “Somalia: Civilians Killed in Fresh Kenyan Airstrike in Southern Somalia,” Raxanreeb Radio, January 8, 2012. Available:
[9] “al-Katai’b Media Presents Two New Statements from Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahidin,” Jihadology, January 8, 2012. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Feb '12
Jan '12
Dec '11