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: Tens of thousands of protestors gather in Sana’a to demand President Saleh step down; soldiers open fire at al Qaeda suspect’s funeral, killing one person

Horn of Africa: Airstrikes outside of Kismayo targeted al Shabaab operatives; Shabelle Valley Minister accused al Shabaab of blocking aid to needy civilians; president appoints new prime minister

Yemen Security Brief

  • Tens of thousands of protestors gathered in Sana’a to demonstrate against President Ali Abdullah Saleh in a rally dubbed “Friday of the Revolutionary Will.” Protests also occurred in the cities of Taiz, Ibb and Hudaydah.[1]

  • Yemeni soldiers opened fire at an al Qaeda suspect’s funeral in Aden, killing one man and injuring six others. Ahmed Darwish, arrested in connection to the June 2010 attack on intelligence headquarters in Aden, died after one day in Yemeni custody.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab leader in Kismayo Sheikh Hassan Yaqub reported that two unidentified helicopters attacked al Shabaab military bases outside of the southern port city. He added that the helicopters were American and French and that two al Shabaab militants were killed and two others wounded. Witnesses said explosions could be heard and foreign fighters were present during the raid. The airstrikes were near Qandal, about six miles south of Kismayo, and reportedly hit a convoy. Somalia’s deputy defense minister, Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig, reported that a “partner country” executed the attack. Hidig added, “The target was one of their (al-Shabab's) most important fortresses where foreigners were staying…. It's not only that attack but there will be further military attacks targeting them. There are casualties inflicted to them but we shall release that information later.”[3]

  • The Shabelle Valley Minister of Information accused al Shabaab of blocking food aid from the needy. The minister also stated that al Shabaab insurgents were hampering people from getting water and called for civilians living under al Shabaab control to act quickly.[4]

  • Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed appointed Abdiweli Mohamed Ali as prime minister of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Ali is a U.S.-educated Somali-American who had been the acting prime minister after the resignation of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.[5]

[1] Mohamed Sudam, “Yemenis Pray for Political Impasse End,” Reuters, June 24, 2011. Available:
[2] “Yemen soldiers kill man at 'Qaeda funeral,’” AFP, June 24, 2011. Available:
[3] “Foreign Forces Raid in Southern Somalia Town,” Shabelle Media Network, June 24, 2011.
“Al-Shabab Officials Says 2 Helicopters Attacked Their Military Bases, Kill Fighters in Southern Somalia,” Mareeg Online, June 24, 2011. Available:,-kill-fighters-in-southern-Somalia&sid=20133&tirsan=3
“Aircraft Attack Rebel Base in South Somalia-Rebels,” Reuters, June 23, 2011. Available:
“’Partner’ Airstrike Hits Somali Militants’ Convoy,” AP, June 24, 2011. Available:
[4] “Somalia: Shabelle Valley accuses Al shabaab of bothering people,” Shabelle Media Network, June 24, 2011. Available:
[5] Jeffrey Gettleman, “Harvard-Educated Technocrat Chosen as Somalia Premier,” New York Times, June 23, 2011. Available:
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