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: Security disarms IED in Abyan; intelligence officer assassinated in Hadramawt; gunmen ambush military convoy in Abyan; gunmen attack special forces vehicle in Ma’rib; 17th Brigade soldiers protest in Dhubab, Taiz; Republican Guard soldiers demand dismissal of camp commander in Dhamar

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack Somali base in El Barde, Bakool region; unknown attackers raid al Shabaab bases in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region; Puntland forces clash with protesters in Galkayo, Mudug region; Somali government assures that Hassan Dahir Aweys is healthy; AU ambassador meets with Somali president and prime minister in Mogadishu; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a threatens to take action against Kenyan troops in Somalia; Somali government will welcome al Shabaab defectors; Somali government responds to allegations of corruption in central bank

Yemen Security Brief

  • Security forces found and disarmed an improvised explosive device (IED) in Lawder, Abyan governorate on July 3.[1]
  • Gunmen on motorcycles believed to be linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) assassinated an intelligence officer in al Mukalla, Hadramawt on July 2.[2]
  • Unknown gunmen ambushed a convoy carrying the salaries of the 111th Infantry Brigade in Ahwar, Abyan governorate on July 2. An armed pickup escorting the salaries flipped, killing a lieutenant colonel and a corporal. The salaries reached the brigade safely.[3]
  • Gunmen attacked a special forces vehicle in Ma’rib on July 2. The soldiers returned fire and the attackers fled.
  • Soldiers from the 17th Infantry Brigade protested outside brigade headquarters in Dhubab district, Taiz governorate near the Bab al Mandab Strait on July 2. The soldiers were protesting not being issued pistols due to their participation in the revolution.[4] 
  • Soldiers from the Republican Guard in Dhamar city, Dhamar demanded the removal of the camp commander Mohammad Ghalib Sabri on July 2. The soldiers accused the commander of taking their wages and food.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali military base in El Barde, Bakool region on July 2. Somali forces were able to repel the attack but ten fighters from both sides were killed in the battle.[6]
  • Unknown attackers raided al Shabaab positions in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region on July 2. Three al Shabaab militants were killed and two were wounded in the attack. Al Shabaab has yet to comment on the incident.[7]
  • Puntland forces fought with protesters in Galkayo, Mudug region on July 3. The demonstrators gathered to protest corruption in the ruling party. Three people were killed and seven others were injured in the clashes.[8]
  • The Somali government assured demonstrators in Mogadishu on July 2 that former al Shabaab leader Hassan Dahir Aweys was in fine health and would not be given to a foreign intelligence organization.[9]
  • African Union (AU) Ambassador Mahamat Annadif met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon in Mogadishu on July 3 to discuss the ongoing crisis in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region.[10]
  • The leader of the Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a militia voiced the group’s disapproval over Kenyan interference in Kismayo and threatened to take military action against Kenyan troops in the country.[11]
  • The Somali government reiterated its statement that defected al Shabaab fighters will not be prosecuted and said that around 1,600 former al Shabaab fighters have been reintegrated into society.[12]
  • The Somali government strongly denied on July 3 claims made in a United Nations report that accused Somalia’s central banking system of being corrupt.[13]   

[1] “Abyan… IED Equipped With Remote Detonator Disarmed,” Sahafah, July 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Assassination of Yemeni Intelligence Officer in Hadramawt,” Sahafah, July 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Abyan… Officer and Soldier Killed in Attempt to Steal the 111th Brigade’s Salaries,” Barakish, July 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Taiz: Individuals From the 17th Brigade Besiege Headquarters of Brigade Leadership,” Mareb Press, July 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Refusal of Military Leadership Mediation in the Seventh Region,” Mareb Press, July 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Fighting Between Government Forces and al Shabaab in Bakool Region,” Shabelle, July 3, 2013. Available:
[7] “Armed Group Attacked al Shabaab Fighters in Barawe District,” Radio Kulmiye, July 2, 2013. Available:
[8] “Heavy Clashes Grips Galkayo Town as Police Clashes with Large Riots,” Shabelle, July 3, 2013. Available:
[9] “Somalia: Government Calls for Calm After Mogadishu Protests Over Terrorist Chief’s Arrest,” Garowe Online,  July 2, 2013. Available:
[10] “AU Envoy to Somalia Meets Government Leaders,” July 3, 2013. Available:
[11] “Ahlu Sunna Threatened to Fight Against Kenyan Troops in Kismayo,” Radio Mustaqbal, July 3, 2013. Available:
[12] “Somali Government Ready to Welcome al Shabaab Defectors,” Bar Kulan, July 3, 2013. Available:
[13] “Central Bank Governor Responds to Leade UN Monitoring Group Report,” Office of the Prime Minister, July 3, 2013. Available:
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