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: Southern Movement Secretary General demands the removal of Saleh’s relatives from the army; Abaad Center for Studies and Research publishes report on emerging anti-government group; public workforce employees protest for monthly payments

Horn of Africa: Head of UNPOS urges Somalis to think of Somalia’s future beyond August 20; TFG soldiers reportedly loot trucks of food aid in Afgoi; senior al Shaabab leader defects in Gedo region; al Shabaab arrests five alleged spies in Middle Shabelle; UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia visits Dhusamareb; Kenyan-based Muslim Youth Center denounces U.S. Treasury’s designation of Kenyan al Shabaab supporters as terrorists

Yemen Security Brief

  • Secretary General of the Southern Movement, Abdullah al Nakhibi, instructed President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi to expel all relatives of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh from the Yemeni army and security services. Nakhibi alleged that Iranian-trained groups with ties to the al Houthi movement, sparked the violence at protests in Aden on July 7. Nakhibi also alleged that Iran has also worked through the southern movement leader, Ali Salim al Beidh, to provide support to those groups.[1]
  • The Yemen-based Abaad Center for Studies and Research reported on a new anti-government group in Yemen seeking to establish the “Free Southern Army.” The group is allegedly seeking defections from southern military commanders who had been affiliated with the previous regime under former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.[2]
  • Thousands of Yemeni public workers protested at the Ministry of Finance today, demanding pay after not receiving salaries for three months.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Head of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) Augustine Mahiga urged Somali leaders and elders to look past August 20, the date marking the end of Somalia’s political transition process. “Let me urge all Somalis who are stakeholders in the peace process to sustain the political commitment for a broad-based, inclusive and representative post-transitional arrangement. Somalia deserves a political dispensation based on election, not just selection. Somalia deserves peace, prosperity and development,” Mahiga added.[4]
  • Somali officials and witnesses reported that Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers looted two trucks of food aid intended for drought-famine victims in Afgoi.[5]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a spokesman Mohammed Hussein said that a senior al Shabaab leader, Mohamed Hassan Abu Amara, surrendered to Ahlu Sunna in Garbaharey in Gedo region. Amara was said to be responsible for al Shabaab’s security wing in Burdhubo in Gedo region.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants from Jowhar in Middle Shabelle region allegedly arrested five suspected Somali government spies. Two people were detained in Besha Biya Ade area, about 40 kilometers from Mahaday town, two from Jowhar, and one from Qalimow, south of Jowhar.[7]
  • Mark Bowden, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, traveled to Dhusamareb, a city controlled by Ahlu Sunna, in Galgudud region to assess the humanitarian situation on July 9.[8]
  • The Muslim Youth Center (MYC) released a press statement on its English-language blog on July 6 denouncing the U.S. Department of Treasury’s designation of three Kenyan al Shabaab supporters, Aboud Rogo Mohammed, Omar Awadh Omar, and Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, as terrorists. The MYC vowed to continue fighting its enemy in East Africa until “the Islamic flag is raised high in every capital.”[9]    

[1] “Southern Leader Demands to Dismiss Saleh’s Relatives,” Yemen Post, July 9, 2012. Available:
[2] “Emergence of New Terror In Yemen,” Yemen Post, July 9, 2012. Available:
“Report of the Center Warns of An Armed Organization Paving the Way For a New Military Divisions to Form a Free Southern Army,” Abaad Studies, July 10, 2012. Available:
[3] “New Employees Demand Yemen Government to Pay Due Payments,” Yemen Observer, July 10, 2012. Available:
[4] “UN Envoy Urges Somalis to Focus on Country’s Future,” UN News Centre, July 10, 2012. Available:
[5] “Officials: Gov’t Soldiers Loot Food Aid in Southern Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, July 10, 2012. Available:
[6] “Al-Shabaab Militant Leader Surrender to ASWJ in Gedo,” Bar Kulan, July 10, 2012. Available:
[7] “Al-Shabaab Detains Five for Alleged Espionage,” Bar Kulan, July 10, 2012. Available:
[8] “Mark Bowden Visits Central Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, July 9, 2012. Available:
[9] “MYC Denounces US Designation of Kenyan Shabaab Supporters,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 9, 2012. Available at SITE.
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