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 forces recapture building amidst widespread protests in the south; al Qaeda suspect in hospital shootout is American; donors not following through on aid pledges to Yemen; two soldiers dead in Taiz; government forms committees to address citizens’ grievances in the south and east

Horn of Africa: UN World Food Program cuts ties with three of its Somali contractors; 43 Somalis dead in Mogadishu in the past two days; clan warfare kills two in Mudug; TFG and Islamist rebels spread message on radio; World Food Program to assist Puntland with port  

Yemen Security Review  

  • Yemeni security forces recaptured a building held by separatists in the southern town of Tor al Baha, instigating a gunfight killing two people, including one civilian. Widespread demonstrations were met with a harsh crackdown by government forces in Dhale, where two protesters were killed. Protests were also reported in Lahij, Taiz, and Sana’a.[1]  
  • The al Qaeda suspect who attempted to escape a hospital in Sana’a on Sunday is reportedly an American citizen. Sharif Mobley was originally reported to be a German citizen by the Yemen News Agency. When reached for comment, Mr. Mobley’s family in New Jersey denied that he was a terrorist.[2]  
  • Despite a worsening food crisis in Yemen, less than 10% of the $5.7 billion pledged by GCC countries in aid to Yemen has been allocated. Similarly, major donors to the UN World Food Program Yemen like Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen have been hesitant to pledge additional funding without concrete guarantees for reform from Yemeni President Saleh. The WFP estimates it needs $105 million this year alone to feed malnourished Yemenis.[3]  
  • Two soldiers were found dead with gunshot wounds in Taiz on Wednesday. The two soldiers were reportedly guards of the Central Prison in Taiz, and were last seen transporting a prisoner to the hospital in the city.[4]  
  • The Yemeni Parliament has formed committees designed to address the concerns of citizens in the country’s southern and eastern provinces. The committees were formed at the wish of President Saleh.[5]  

Horn of Africa Security Review  

  • The UN World Food Program has terminated contracts with three Somali businessmen after a report was leaked yesterday of widespread corruption in the distribution of food aid in the country. The three businessmen have been accused of diverting aid to Islamist rebels, including al Shabaab.[6]  
  • Over the past two days, 43 Somalis have been killed in the capital city of Mogadishu in intense fighting between TFG forces were assisted by African Union tanks to help fight Islamist rebels. All sides in the conflict have been accused of indiscriminately firing into residential neighborhoods.[7]
  • Fighting between clans Ba’adweyn and Amara villages has killed two in the northern Somali region of Mudug. Witnesses report that the violence was only the latest clash in a long standing feud between two rival clans.[8]
  • Both the transitional government and rebel forces in Somalia have been using radio to disseminate their message in a bid to win the minds of citizens in the country. Recently, al Shabaab militants took control of Radio Warsan, a formerly pro-government station. An al Shabaab spokesman said that the station has proved highly effective in communicating the group’s vision of an Islamic state in Somalia.[9]
  • The Puntland government in northern Somalia has signed an agreement with the UN World Food Program to expand the port facilities in Bossasso. The new facilities would allow large ships to dock in the port. Additionally, the Puntland government would permit WFP warehouses in the city.[10]  

[1] “Thousands Protest Against Crackdown in South Yemen,” Reuters, March 11, 2010. Available:
[2] “Suspected American al Qaeda, Sharif Mobley, shoots up Yemen hospital in escape bid,” Washington Examiner, March 11, 2010. Available:
[3] “Millions of Yemenis Starving as Donors Fail to Meet Pledges, Says UN,” The Guardian, March 11, 2010. Available:
[4] “Two Guards Found Dead in Mysterious Incident in Western Yemen,” Yemen Post, March 11, 2010. Available:
[5] “Committees to Address Citizens’ issues in Southern Eastern Provinces,” Yemen News Agency (Saba), March 11, 2010. Available:
[6] “U.N. to End Some Somalia Contracts,” The New York Times, March 11, 2010. Available:
[7] “43 Somalis Die in Capital after 2 Days of Warfare,” AP, March 11, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Clannish War Kills Two People,” Shabelle Media Network, March 11, 2010. Available:
[9] “Somalia, Rebels Clash in Air Wars,” AP, March 11, 2010. Available:
[10] “Somalia: WFP to assist Puntland in expanding Bossasso Port,” Garowe Online, March 11, 2010. Available:
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