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 militants kill nine soldiers in south; Yemeni vice president assumes executive powers in Yemen; clashes in Taiz kill at least seven people; militants attack Aden checkpoint; State Department calls for transfer of power; JMP seeks complete transfer of power to vice president
Horn of Africa: AMISOM reports on areas of control in Mogadishu; al Shabaab burns AMISOM vehicle; al Shabaab attacks Ahlu Sunna base in Hiraan region; shelling kills at least ten people in Mogadishu’s Karan district; a roadside bomb kills three soldiers in Luq in Gedo region; AU Special Representative urges roadmap for Somalia
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants ambushed a Yemeni military reinforcement convoy en route to Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan, from Aden. Six soldiers were killed. Militants attacked a second convoy in the same area, killing three soldiers and reportedly injuring over 36 others.
- President Ali Abdullah Saleh was injured in the June 3 attack on the presidential palace and left for Saudi Arabia to receive treatment. Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi assumed temporary executive powers in the president’s absence. Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar agreed to the terms of a ceasefire in the capital whose terms stipulate that loyalist troops will withdraw from al Hasaba district in Sana'a and tribesmen will vacate seized streets and government ministries. Regime loyalists fired on tribesmen in al Hasaba district after the ceasefire was set in place, killing three people.
- Gunmen attempted to storm the presidential compound in Taiz on June 5. Four soldiers and one gunman were reportedly killed. The gunmen belong to the "Eagles of Liberty," a militant anti-government group. Security forces and protestors also fought in Taiz. Two men were killed and two others were injured. Yemeni security and military forces have withdrawn from the city to military bases.
- Militants attacked the Suzuki army checkpoint in Aden governorate’s al Sheikh Othman district on June 5, wounding two soldiers.
- State Department spokesman Mark Toner condemned the June 3 attack on the presidential palace and called for a transfer of power. He said, "Clearly, the deteriorating situation in Yemen can only be addressed through a peaceful and orderly transfer of power. And so we, again, call on President Saleh to move immediately to heed the calls of the Yemeni people."
- Yemen’s main opposition bloc, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), called for the “complete transfer of power” to Vice President Hadi. The JMP will seek to form transitional government should this transfer of power not occur. The youth opposition released a statement urging "all national and political forces to begin with forming an interim presidential council... and creating a national transitional council" as well as the formation of "a government of technocrats."
Horn of Africa Security Brief
Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and AMISOM troops secured Bondhere district and parts of Shibis district in Mogadishu, two districts that had previously been contested by al Shabaab. At least 17 people were reported to have been killed in the offensive. AMISOM also claimed that a Burundi contingent gained control of Hodan district south of Warshadaha (Industrial) Road. AMISOM reports that al Shabaab militants have been cleared from a kilometer-wide perimeter around Villa Somalia and from major bases such as the former Ministry of the Interior, the Italian and Syrian embassies, and the Somaliweyne radio station. According to AMISOM, al Shabaab still has full control of Daynile, Karan, Yaqshid, and Heliwa districts and that Shibis and Abdi Aziz districts are contested. Police spokesman Abdullahi Hassan Barise reported that local police officers secured eight bases previously under the control of al Shabaab militants. Prosper Hakizimana, the deputy AMISOM spokesman, acknowledged that AMISOM troops abandoned bases in Mogadishu's Makka al Mukarama Road in order to secure newly captured territory.
- AMISOM reported that an armored bulldozer, used to repair roads, was "set alight by small arms fire," but was successfully recovered. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Mus’ab reported that militants destroyed and burnt two AMISOM tanks in a battle on June 4.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama'a military bases on June 5 in the Mahas area in Hiraan region. At least one person was killed and two others were injured.
- Shelling in Karan district in northern Mogadishu killed at least ten people.
- A roadside bomb exploded underneath a TFG military vehicle nine miles north of Luq in Gedo region. The blast killed at least three soldiers and injured two soldiers and two civilians.
- Ambassador Boubacar Gaoussou Diarra, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, called for a resolution to the political crisis in Somalia and noted the success of AMISOM in securing Mogadishu. AMISOM currently consists of a force of 9,100 peacekeepers in the capital. TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and parliament speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adam met in Kampala, Uganda to discuss the political rifts.
"Militants kill nine Yemeni soldiers," AFP, June 6, 2011. Available: http://gulftoday.ae/portal/79b71c93-e008-4f0d-ad5c-65ed60bc00f9.aspx