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: AQAP plot to control Lawder, Abyan revealed; four soldiers released in al Dhaleh; Saudi Arabia executes two Yemenis; gunmen attack power lines in Dhamar; Hadi welcomes new Egyptian President Mansour; businessman kidnapped in Ibb; protests in al Zira’ah neighborhood of Sana’a; statement from Southern Movement leaders abroad; Southern Movement protests anticipate July 7 anniversary
Horn of Africa: Somali government denounces Kenyan army; al Shabaab attacks UN helicopter in Baidoa, Bay region; al Shabaab militants capture several government soldiers in Shalambood, Lower Shabelle region; unknown gunmen attack civilians in Bayaxow, Middle Shabelle region; al Shabaab responds to Egypt crisis, talks about internal rifts on Twitter; Barre Hirale intends to fight for Kismayo; World Health Organization releases fatality report for Kismayo clashes; Jubbaland reconciliation committee formed; Somali prime minister holds security meeting in Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief
- The Interior Ministry revealed on July 4 that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was planning to seize the city of Lawder, Abyan governorate. The ministry said that it would take all necessary security precautions.
- Southern Movement gunmen released four soldiers from the 33rd Armored Brigade on July 5 in al Dhaleh governorate. The gunmen had kidnapped the soldiers on June 3 to exchange for imprisoned Southern Movement member Fares al Dhale’i. Al Dhale’i was released from al Mansoura prison in an exchange mediated by tribal and state actors.
- The Saudi Interior Ministry announced on July 4 that it had executed two Yemeni citizens accused of armed robbery in Saudi Arabia.
- Tribal gunmen from the Dafina region attacked power lines in Maghreb Ans, Dhamar governorate on July 3 as part of a vendetta against another tribe.
- President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a message of welcome to new Egyptian transitional President Adly Mansour on July 4. Islah Party officials condemned the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
- Armed men kidnapped businessman Mohammed Mohamed Ali Mayas on June 25 in Ibb governorate. His whereabouts are still unknown.
- Residents of al Zira’ah neighborhood in Sana’a protested the weeks of June 24 and July 1, demanding promised compensation for the damage caused by a military aircraft crash on February 19.
- Southern Movement leaders in exile Ali Nasser Mohammed, Haider Abu Bakr al Attas, and Saleh Obaid Ahmed issued a message calling for southerners to increase their peaceful protests against the “occupying” northern government. 
- Southern Movement protests for independence in Aden, Shabwah, al Dhaleh, and Abyan occurred on July 5, calling for a larger protest turnout on July 7 and civil disobedience campaigns. July 7 is the 19-year anniversary of the fall of Aden at the end of the 1994 civil war.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- A letter sent from Somali Foreign Minister Fowzia Yusuf Haji Aden to African Union leaders accuses the Kenyan army of “incompetence” in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region. The letter, which was accidentally leaked to the press, asks the African Union to replace Kenyan troops with an unbiased fighting force.
- Al Shabaab militants fired an anti-aircraft machine gun at a United Nations helicopter landing at Baidoa airport, Bay region on July 3. The helicopter was not brought down.
- Al Shabaab militants claimed that they captured several government soldiers during an attack on a government base in Shalambood, Lower Shabelle region on July 5.
- Unknown gunmen attacked civilians exiting a mosque in Bayaxow, Middle Shabelle region on July 4. Two people were killed and three were injured. The attacks are believed to be clan-related.
- Al Shabaab responded to the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi via Twitter on July 4. The terrorist organization said that the ouster shows that “change comes by bullet alone; NOT the ballot.” Additionally on its Twitter account, al Shabaab made threats against dissenting factions within its group.
- Jubbaland presidential challenger Barre Hirale said that he intends to fight for Kismayo, Lower Jubba region and is amassing forces to attack the Ras Kamboni troops currently in control of the city.
- The World Health Organization released a report on July 4 saying that at least 71 civilians have been killed and 300 wounded to date in clashes in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region.
- A ten-man Jubbaland reconciliation committee was formed on July 4 to bring together divided communities in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region. The district commissioner for Luq, Gedo region urged separate clan militias to end the fighting in Kismayo.
- Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon held a meeting in Mogadishu on July 5 in order to discuss security measures for the capital city.