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: Al Jazeera and al Arabiya broadcasting equipment seized by Yemeni authorities; two killed in police crackdown on southern protests; refugees flee Dhale in south Yemen
Horn of Africa: Third day of intense fighting in Mogadishu; World Food Program challenges report on stolen aid; Somali peace forum to be held in Dubai; TFG to sign peace agreement with Sufi Islamist group; TFG and AU forces capture rebel positions
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemeni authorities raided the offices of al Jazeera and al Arabiya in Sana’a on Friday to confiscate broadcasting equipment to prevent the networks from reporting on the situation in southern Yemen. A spokesman for the Ministry of Information said both organizations were given prior notice before the seizure, and the measure was necessary to prevent the inflammation of the conflict in the south of the country.
- Two protesters were killed on Thursday in the widespread protests in the south of Yemen. One of the protesters was killed in Lahij, while the other died in Dhale. Additionally six policemen were injured in the violence.
- Many residents have fled the southern Yemeni city of Dhale as government security forces have cracked down on the large separatist presence there. Residential neighborhoods have been shelled and cell phone service in the city has been shut down, with ongoing violence in the evenings.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Heavy fighting between TFG forces and Islamist rebels continued for the third straight day in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. On Thursday over 40 people were killed and 100 wounded in clashes between the two sides. The casualty count for Friday’s fighting is unknown at this point. Al Shabaab has advanced into close proximity of the presidential palace.
- The World Food Program has challenged the UN report that claims that nearly half of its aid in Somalia is diverted to corrupt officials and Islamist rebels. A WFP official said that there were a number of inaccuracies in the report. The official claimed the three Somali businessmen that reportedly received $200 million in transportation contracts had in fact only received $41.4 million.
- The Global Centre for Renewal and Guidance is hosting a summit to call for peace and reconciliation in Somalia in Dubai on March 13th and 14th. The conference aims to use expertise in Islamic scholarship to look for realms of potential collaboration between the warring sides.
- The TFG will reportedly sign a peace agreement with Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a, a Sufi Islamist group that controls territory in central Somalia. The agreement is scheduled to be signed on Saturday in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a has generally been supportive of the national and local governments and favors national unity over Islamist governance. The government is hoping to isolate the al Shabaab militants from other Islamist groups in the country.
- TFG and AU forces have pushed their forces into the rebel-held Karan neighborhood in the northern part of Mogadishu. Witnesses say both government troops and al Shabaab dead were seen in the streets.