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: Yemeni troops and militants clash in Zinjibar; car bomb kills army colonel in Aden; Yemeni troops defect to opposition; Yemeni air force bombs Nihm district in Sana’a governorate; jihadist discusses drones in Yemen
Horn of Africa: Somali government forces and al Shabaab militants clash in Gedo region; Somali prime minister said new government will continue to fight al Shabaab; ONLF frees UN workers
Yemen Security Brief
- The Yemeni military continues to fight militants in Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate. A Yemeni air force jet mistakenly bombed a passenger bus, killing four people and wounding 12 others. Militants took over a stadium on the outskirts of Zinjibar and the ensuing clashes killed at least 15 government troops and eight militants. Airstrikes also continue in Jaar in Abyan governorate.
- Army Colonel Khaled al Yafi’I was killed when a bomb planted in his car exploded in al Mansura district in Aden. A similar attack killed another officer on June 13.
- Airstrikes in Nihm district, north of Sana’a, killed at least three people. Sporadic clashes have been ongoing between anti-government tribesmen and government forces. Sheikh Ali Youssef, a tribal leader, said that 48 houses have been destroyed and hundreds of people forced to flee from their homes.
- More than 300 Yemeni soldiers have reportedly defected to the opposition. An opposition message read, “From the podium of the Square of Change in Sana’a, an announcement has been issued that 150 soldiers from the Republican Guards, 130 Central Security soldiers and 60 policemen have joined the rebellion.” No government officials have confirmed the report.
- An unidentified jihadist released a message that offered several methods to deter the use of unmanned aerial drones in Yemen. The message said, “In my opinion, spoiling a strategy depends on three matters: forming a public opinion that is against the attacks – deterring spies – tactics of camouflage and deception.” He also suggested kidnapping Western citizens around the world in order to pressure the U.S. government and to provoke public opinion in the region against the use of drones.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Heavy fighting broke out between transitional government forces and al Shabaab militants in Maykarebe village near Garbaharey, the center of Gedo region in southern Somalia. Mohamed Abdi Kalil, the governor of Gedo region for the transitional government in Somalia, told a local radio station that al Shabaab militants ambushed government soldiers on patrol outside of Garbaharey. Kalil said that 12 al Shabaab militants were killed and many others wounded. He also reported said that government forces had seized an al Shabaab military base in Maykarebe village. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Mus’ab told local press that they had inflicted “irretrievable losses” on government forces.
- Newly appointed Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali announced in an address to parliament on Tuesday that the new government will continue to fight terrorist groups in Somalia. He reaffirmed the need to act rapidly to create an effective new government and tackle the challenges ahead. The prime minister said, “You know that al shabab refused humanitarian support to the Somali people. It means that all people to die for famine and starvation, but we shall protect those people, in particular the displaced and weak Somalis as soon as possible.”
- The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) released two UN World Food Programme workers who had been kidnapped on May 13.