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: Court sentences two al Qaeda suspects to death; ten al Houthi rebels killed in clashes with pro-government tribesmen; jihadist urges AQAP to drag U.S. into Yemen in open letter; two die in Southern Movement’s “day of rage” protests; security officer escapes assassination attempt in Abyan province
Horn of Africa: Reports of TFG mobilizing for Hiraan offensive, Ethiopian support of operations; al Shabaab denounces additional AMISOM troops, will intensify jihad against African Union; TFG officials claim killing of two foreign fighters in Hiraan; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a appeals to international community to mediate cabinet dispute with TFG; Somali PM Sharmarke defends cabinet picks; U.S. Embassy in Kenya issues statement on Somaliland’s elections; Puntland bans qat sales in Garowe
Yemen Security Brief
- Two suspected al Qaeda militants were sentenced to death Wednesday for their participation in an armed group that killed nine people, including three security officials and two bodyguards in an ambush last November.
- Ten al Houthi rebels were reportedly killed and several injured in clashes with pro-government tribesmen in Amran province.
- A jihadist urged Nasser al Wahayshi, the leader of AQAP, in an open letter published on Tuesday to drag U.S. forces into a direct confrontation in Yemen to exhaust and defeat America. The message was posted on the Ansar al-Mujahideen jihadist forum.
- Two demonstrators died and four were injured Wednesday when police attempted to break up the Southern Movement’s “day of rage” protests in Aden. The protests were planned to mark the 16th anniversary of the north’s invasion of southern Yemen.
- A security officer in Abyan province reportedly escaped an assassination attempt Tuesday after being attacked by unidentified assailants in Zinjibar. One person was injured.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Residents in Beledweyne report that TFG soldiers are mobilizing north of the town at the Kala-beyrka intersection and Ba’da and Jila’le villages and are preparing to launch an offensive to retake Hiraan region. They add that Ethiopian troops are preparing to move across the border from Fere-fer to support the offensive.
- The leader of al Shabaab in Hiraan region, Sheikh Yusuf Said Ugas, denounced the decision by an East African bloc to support 2,000 additional AMISOM troops in Somalia, and said it will step up its jihad against the African Union in response. He called on Somalis to join the jihad, “I call upon all of you, men and women, to stand up and defend your religion, defend your country against the invading infidels and their apostate allies.”
- TFG officials claim they killed two foreigners responsible for training Islamist rebels in Hiraan region.
- An Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a official asked the international community to intervene and mediate the dispute between his group and the TFG.
- Somali PM Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke released a statement defending his cabinet picks as faithful to the TFG’s power-sharing agreement with Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a.
- The United States Embassy in Kenya issued a statement that congratulated Somaliland on its successful presidential election and urged its people to maintain the process through the inauguration of its new president at the end of the month.
- Puntland banned sales of the narcotic qat in Garowe; however, it will be legal to sell qat in specified areas outside of the town.