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 security forces fight southern rebels; southern rallies broken up by police; 69 African refugees arrested; schools reopen in Sa’ada; al Houthi rebels given 12 day deadline for ceasefire implementation

Horn of Africa: AU proposes no-fly zone on Somalia; al Shabaab orders the World Food Program to halt operations and leave; 4 government soldiers killed in roadside bombing; 4 killed in heavy fighting in Galkayo; Britain bans al Shabaab; Hizb al Islam claims differences from al Shabaab

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security forces fought with rebels in the town of Zinjibar, in the southern governorate of Abyan, in an attempt to arrest Ali al Yafie, a suspected separatist arms dealer. At least seven people, including al Yafie, his family, and two police officers, were killed in the fighting.[1]

  • Yemen security forces broke up southern independence rallies in the city of Daleh with live ammunition and tear gas. The protests come after an international donors meeting in Saudi Arabia regarding aid for Yemen. Head of Daleh Security, General Hazi Ali Mohsen, stated 21 protesters were arrested.[2]

  • The Yemeni government arrested 69 African refugees who entered the country illegally in the eastern governorate of Hadramout. The refugees mainly consisted of Somalis; however, Sudanese and Ethiopians were also among the arrested. Refugees were given to the UNHCR and sent to a temporary camp in Maifa’a, in the Shabwa governorate, before going to the main camp in Kharaz, Lahj.[3]

  • Hundreds of schools in Sa’ada have reopened due to the current ceasefire between Yemen and the al Houthi rebels. Schools reopened after being closed for five months and have invited over half of the 121,000 registered students to return and resume their studies.[4]

  • The Yemeni Supreme Security Committee gave al Houthi rebels a 12-day deadline to implement the remaining terms of the ceasefire. The committee claims the rebels have not been cooperative enough on the ceasefire. The first phase of the ceasefire has been reported as completed and the second phase, namely handing over weapons, equipment, and captives, is about to commence.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The AU has requested the UN to create and enforce a no-fly zone over the entire country of Somalia and block sea ports in an effort to block supplies from reaching insurgents. Countries, such as Eritrea, have been accused of supplying Islamist militants, such as al Shabaab, with weapons, logistical support, and fighters.[6]

  • Islamist militant group al Shabaab has ordered the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) to cease operations and leave Somalia. The group accuses WFP of providing low quality food, delivering food for political purposes, and providing food to foreign and government troops.[7]

  • A roadside bomb at the Manabolio intersection of Mogadishu went off killing 4 government soldiers and seriously wounding 10 others.[8]

  • Heavy gunfire between rival militant groups in the town of Galkayo in central Somalia left four civilians dead.[9]

  • The British government has stated it is banning al Shabaab, making membership and donating funds to the group illegal. The order banning the group was put forth by British Home Secretary Alan Johnson and now must be approved by parliament.[10]

  • The leader of the Somali Islamist group Hizb al Islam claimed his group’s ideology is different than that of rival militant group al Shabaab. However, he warned that the disputes between the two groups will hinder the possibility of establishing Islamic rule in Somalia and the global jihad.[11]

[1] “Yemeni forces clash with rebels,” Al Jazeera, March 01, 2010. Available:
[2] “Police break up Yemen rallies,” Al Jazeera, February 28, 2010. Available:
[3] “Africans Still Heading to Yemen; 69 Fresh Illegal Migrants Arrested,” Yemen News Agency (SABA), March 01, 2010. Available:
[4] “Saada Schools Reopen,” Al Sahwa, February 28, 2010. Available:
[5] “Rebels Given 12-Day Deadline for Further Ceasefire Implementation,” Yemen Post, March 01, 2010. Available:  
[6] “AU Wants Country Declared No Fly Zone,” The New Vision, February 28, 2010. Available:
[7] “Militia Orders UN Agency to Leave,” Daily Nation, February 28, 2010. Available:
[8] “4 Government Soldiers Perished in Roadside Bomb,” Somaliweyn, February 27, 2010. Available:
[9] “Four Killed in Fire Exchange in Central Town,” Mareeg Online, March 01, 2010. Available:
[10] “Britain to ban Somali terrorist group al-Shabab,” AP, March 01, 2010. Available:
[11] “'We Are Different from Al Shabaab,' says Hizbul Islam Rebel Chief,” Garowe Online, February 28, 2010. Available:
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