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: AQAP releases video of kidnapped Saudi diplomat; Security seizes arms shipment; U.S. deputy ambassador signs grant for $20 million; clashes occur between security forces and gunmen in Ma’rib; soldier dies after personal dispute; Yemen denies visas to Iranians; popular committees in Lawder, Abyan elect new leaders; gunmen storm government building in Qafr, Ibb

Horn of Africa: Somali and AMISOM forces conduct security operations in Hamar Jabjab district, Mogadishu; unknown gunmen kill a civilian in Dharkenley district, Mogadishu;  al Shabaab militants ambush Somali convoy near Baidoa, Bay region; al Shabaab militants launched mortars at Somali base near Fafadun, Gedo region; al Shabaab militants attack civilian convoy near Liboi, Kenya; Kenyan president meets with Puntland president in Nairobi, Kenya; Kenyan police say al Shabaab is recruiting youths from Mwingi district, Kenya; UN ambassador Nicholas Kay opens new mission in Somalia; Somali government officials hold security meeting in Luq, Gedo region; UN reports high return of Somali refugees, lower number of child abuse cases; Somali president asks for answers in murder of Somali national in South Africa

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the second part of a video interview of kidnapped Saudi diplomat Abdallah al Khalidi. The video focused on why the Saudi government cooperated with the U.S. in the fight against jihadist groups like AQAP, and emphasized growing discontent among the Saudi public.[1]
  • Yemeni security forces seized a shipment of small arms from Turkey in Taiz, Taiz governorate on May 31 after receiving tips from local fishermen. The smugglers transported the weapons by boat. The Interior Ministry said it would intensify sea patrols. [2]
  • U.S. Deputy Ambassador to Yemen Elizabeth Richard signed an agreement on June 3 to increase annual financial aid to Yemen by $20 million. The increase is intended to support the National Dialogue Conference and develop transparency and accountability in Yemen.[3]
  • Mediation stopped a clash in Ma’rib between Yemeni security forces and gunmen from the Shabwan tribe on June 4. A local source accused the government forces of indiscriminate shelling which destroyed several houses. The conflict resulted from a restriction on the tribesmen carrying weapons inside the city.[4]
  • The Director of Security of Taiz said that a soldier died on June 3 after a fellow soldier shot him during a personal dispute. Security forces took the suspect into custody.[5]
  • A spokesman for the al Houthis said that the Yemeni government denied visas to individuals from a number of countries, including Iran, Lebanon, Britain, and Bahrain, who wished to participate in the funeral of Hussein Badr al Din al Houthi.[6]
  • The popular committees in Lawder, Abyan governorate elected new leadership after an internal dispute over accusations of corruption and misuse of funds provided by the Ministry of Defense to the committee for its fighters.[7]
  • Gunmen stormed the administrative building in Qafr, Ibb governorate. A local source said that the gunmen, under the leadership of a man called “al Sabl,” have controlled the building for two days, demanding implementation of programs in the region. Local authorities refused to call reinforcements to flush out the gunmen.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali and AMISOM police conducted security operations in Hamar Jabjab district of Mogadishu on June 3. Several suspected al Shabaab militants were arrested in the operation but many were released following questioning.[9]
  • Unknown gunmen killed a civilian in Dharkenley district, Mogadishu on June 3. The shooters were able to flee the scene and the reason behind the attack is not known.[10]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed a Somali government vehicle between Baidoa and Gofgadud, Bay region on June 4. Somali troops repelled the attack and claimed to have killed several al Shabaab militants.[11]
  • Somali Army officials reported that al Shabaab militants launched mortars at a Somali military base in Fafadun, Gedo region on June 4. No casualties were reported from the incident.[12]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked two convoys transporting qat to Liboi, Kenya. Most of the qat was stolen from the vehicles. Two civilians were killed and one other was injured in the attack.[13]
  • Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta met with Puntland President Abdirahman Farole in Nairobi on June 3 and pledged his support to Somalia. Somali parliamentarians accused Farole of supporting dissent in the Jubbaland region.[14]
  • Kenyan police officials reported that al Shabaab was targeting youth from Mwingi district, in between Garissa and Nairobi, Kenya.[15]
  • Newly appointed United Nations ambassador to Somalia Nicholas Kay opened the new United Nations’ Mission in Somalia in Mogadishu on June 3.[16]
  • Representatives from the Somali government met in Luq, Gedo region on June 4 to discuss regional security concerns.[17]
  • The United Nations announced that over 18,000 refugees had returned to Somalia since January 2013. It also reported that the number of children abused and recruited in Somalia had decreased by half since January 2013.[18]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud demanded answers from the South African government after footage of a brutal murder of a Somali national living in South Africa surfaced on the internet.[19]           

[1] “AQAP Releases Second Part of Interview With Kidnapped Saudi Deputy Consul,” SITE, June3, 2013. Available: Site Intel Group.
[2] “Another Turkish Arms Shipment Trapped,” Yemen Observer, June 3, 2013. Available:
[3]“Yemen Signs Grant Agreements with USA, Germany,” Saba News, June 3, 2013. Available:
[4] “Ma’rib: Mediation Stops Clash Between Security and Gunmen and Shelling the House of a Representative of the Province,” Mareb Press, June 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Taiz Security Seizes Five Waned for Security and 67 Weapons and Soldier Kills His Comrade During Personal Dispute,” Saba News, June 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Yemen Refuses to Grant Visas for Iranians to Participate in Funeral of al Houthi,” June 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Popular Committees in Louder Elect New Leadership After Disputes and Accusations of Corruption,” Barakish Net, June 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Gunmen Control Qafr Province in Ibb,” Barakish Net, June 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Security Operation in Hamar Jajab Suburbs in Mogadishu Results in Several Arrests,” Shabelle, June 3, 2013. Available:
[10] “Armed Men Killed a Civilian in Mogadishu,” Mustaqbal Radio, June 3, 2013. Available:
[11] “Fighting between Federal Government Troops and al Shabaab at the Outskirts of Baidoa,” Shabelle, June 4, 2013. Available:
[12] “The Officials of Somali Government Forces in Gedo Claim Victory from Fighting with al Shabaab,” Radio Mustaqbal, June 4, 2013. Available:
[13] “Gunmen Kill Two Kenyans along Border with Somalia,” Hiiraan Online, June 4, 2013. Available:
[14] “Uhuru Assures of Kenya’s Commitment to Somalia,” Bar Kulan, June 4, 2013. Available:
“Politicians Accuse Farole of Fueling Clannish Clashes in Somalia,” Shabelle, June 4, 2013. Available:
[15] “Al Shabaab Recruiting Mwingi Youth, Police Say,” Sabahi Online, June 3, 2013. Available:
[16] “UN Envoy Pledges Support to People, Government of Somalia as New Political Mission Opens,” UN News Centre,” June 3, 2013. Available:
[17] “Meeting on Security Launched in Luq,” Bar Kulan, June 4, 2013. Available:
[18] “Somalia Cases of Killing, Maiming, Abuse of Children Halved: UN,” Reuters, June 4, 2013. Available:
“UN Says 18,000 Somali Refugees Return Home Since January,” Bar Kulan, June 4, 2013. Available:
[19] “Somalia Demands Actions Over Brutal Killing,” Al Jazeera, June 3, 2013. Available:
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