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: Top AQAP leaders said to be involved in pipeline attack; weapons dealer and suspected al Houthi supporter released by authorities; report claims marked decline in political, personal freedom
Horn of Africa: Aweys denies Hizb al Islam merger with al Shabaab; Somali president calls for investigation into TFG recruiting child soldiers; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a appoints new commanders; Puntland security officials arrest 15-year-old carrying explosives; Galgudud administration warns against Islamist takeover; human rights group claims Kenyan police abusing refugees; Kenya FM calls for TFG unity; Dutch court convicts five Somalis of piracy; Shabelle Radio resumes broadcasting in Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemen officials say that Said al Shihri, Qasim al Raymi, Said Ali bin Jamil, Nasser bin Douha, and Uthman al Ghamdi were involved in last Saturday’s oil pipeline attack in Ma’rib.
- Weapons dealer Sheikh Faris Mana’a, a former mediator between the government and al Houthi rebels, was released in Sa’ada Tuesday night by authorities after six months in custody. Mana’a was arrested for reportedly supplying the rebels with weapons.
- Freedom of assembly declined significantly in 2009 due to a state crackdown on protestors, according to a Yemeni NGO’s report released this week. Political gatherings were said to have dropped more than 40 percent while the number of “political” prisoners spiked. The report also noted that six private newspapers were shut down in 2009 and a number of journalists arrested for reporting on violence in the south.
- Hizb al Islam leader Sheikh Dahir Aweys denied that his group had merged with al Shabaab and added that the faction that defected in Beledweyne did not represent Hizb al Islam at large.
- Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed ordered a probe into reports that the TFG is recruiting children as soldiers. He also claimed that al Shabaab enlists child soldiers and asked the international community for assistance in combating 100,000 armed militants within the country.
- Ahlu Sunna was al Jama’a appointed a new chief commander, Ali Igal, and a new commander for its forces in Guriel, Ahmed Mohamed Odawaa.
- Puntland security officials arrested a 15-year-old girl carrying explosives in a wheelbarrow, reportedly for use as roadside IEDs. Her uncle claimed she suffers from a psychological illness and others manipulated her into doing their work.
- The chairman of Galgudud region’s Himan and Heeb administration warned against an Islamist advance into his government’s territory. He also promised to fight the Islamists should they invade his region.
- Human Rights Watch claimed that Kenyan police are indiscriminately abusing Somali refugees who have fled to the country. The report contained allegations of widespread incidences of rape, beating, and arbitrary deportation.
- Kenya’s Foreign Minister called for unity in the TFG and urged an end to infighting in the government to solve the country’s political crisis. He also called on the international community to find a solution for peace in Somalia.
- A Dutch court convicted five Somali pirates and sentenced each to five years in prison, making note of the difficult conditions in Somalia that led the men to commit piracy.
- Shabelle Radio resumed broadcasting from its new location in Mogadishu, two weeks after it moved from the Bakara Market for fear of Islamists shutting it down.