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: Rumors of assassination attempt on Chinese ambassador; Yemeni forces free captured trains from militants; four kidnapped soldiers released in Shabwah; U.S. State Department names Yemen in annual human trafficking report; GCC will not extend President Hadi’s term; bodyguard for commander of Fifth Military District survives shooting

Horn of Africa: Somali troops conduct security operations in Mogadishu; Kenyan police stop truck loaded with bomb-making materials in Wajir, Kenya; AMISOM starts good governance workshop in Mogadishu; Somali cabinet appoint five new ambassadors

Yemen Security Brief

  • A Gulf newspaper reported that Chinese Ambassador to Yemen Chang Hua survived an assassination attempt on June 21. The Chinese embassy denied the rumor, stating that there was an exchange of gunfire between locals not targeting the ambassador.[1]
  • Yemeni forces killed two and wounded four on June 21 while carrying out an operation to free natural-gas trains that tribal militants had captured in Belhaf, Shabwah governorate.[2]
  • Security services revealed that tribal mediation succeeded in securing the release of four soldiers from the 115th Infantry Brigade on June 21. The soldiers, including two officers, were abducted in al Muraqisha, Shabwah governorate.[3]
  • The U.S. Department of State published the annual Trafficking in Persons Report on June 19. The report listed Yemen as one of 21 “Tier Three” countries which made no significant effort in the prevention and prosecution of human trafficking.[4]
  • U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein stated on June 20 that the sponsors of the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative will not extend President Hadi’s term. Judge Abdul Moneim Iryani announced on June 20 that the date of the referendum on the new constitution will be October 15, the same day as the Islamic holiday Eid al Adha.[5]
  • Unknown gunmen shot the bodyguard of Major General Mohammad Rajeh Labuza, commander of the Fifth Military District, while he was walking home in Radfan, Lahij governorate on June 15. The bodyguard survived but was in critical condition.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali troops conducted security operations in Mogadishu on June 21 following the al Shabaab attack on the United Nations compound in Mogadishu on June 19. Roadblocks were set up and vehicles are being searched. Several people have been arrested but exact numbers are not known.[7]
  • Kenyan police stopped a truck carrying tons of bomb-making chemicals in Wajir, Kenya on June 20. The vehicle was traveling from Mombasa, Kenya and was believed to be headed for al Shabaab in Somalia.[8]
  • The political unit of AMISOM began a workshop in Mogadishu on June 20 meant to teach Somali legislators good governance.[9]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon and the Somali cabinet appointed five new ambassadors on June 20. The new ambassadors will be posted in Italy, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malaysia and Belgium and the European Union .[10]      

[1] “Chinese Ambassador Survives First Assassination Attempt on Chinese Diplomat on Yemen,” Sahafah, June 21, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“China Denies Assassination Attempt on Its Ambassador in Sana’a,” Sahafah, June 21, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Breaking… Two Killed and Others Wounded in Clashes Between the Army and Gunmen in Belhaf,” Barakish, June 21, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Release of Rest of Soldiers Kidnapped in Abyan,” Sahafah, June 21, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Trafficking in Persons Report 2013,” U.S. Department of State, June 19, 2013. Available:
[5] “No Extension for Hadi, U.S. Ambassador and GPC,” Yemen Observer, June 20, 2013. Available:,-us-ambassador-and-gpc.html
“High Council for Elections Announces Day of Eid al Adha as Date for Constitutional Referendum,” Al Masdar Online, June 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Head of Guards for Major General Labawza Wounded Gunshots in Radfan,”Barakish, June 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Security Operations Underway in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, June 21, 2013. Available:
[8] “Police Impound Truck Loaded with Bomb Making Explosives,” KBC, June 20, 2013. Available:
[9] “AMISOM Hosts 4 Day Capacity Building for Somali Legislators,” Standard Media, June 21, 2013. Available:
[10] “Council of Minister Appoints Five New Somali Ambassadors,” Office of the Prime Minister, June 20, 2013. Available:
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