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: Crackdown in Sana’a kills protestors; clashes in al Jawf between security forces and protestors; three people injured in Taiz; Saleh dismisses minister; violence in Aden continues; U.S. calls for end to violence; Ma’rib governor attacked; AQAP killed four security officers
Horn of Africa: TFG friendly fire in Mogadishu killed one person; Ras Kamboni and al Shabaab clashed in Lower Jubba region; pro-government militia and al Shabaab clashed Beledweyne, killing three; TFG Prime Minister seeks resources and equipment from U.S.; al Shabaab attacked TFG bases in Mogadishu; al Shabaab hit Beled Hawo with mortar attacks; Burundi deployed 1,000 troops to Mogadishu; al Shabaab and former Hizb al Islam forces in dispute; at least ten people died in Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief
- Military vehicles and Yemeni soldiers attempted to cordon off the area around Sana’a University where an estimated 20,000 protestors have been camped out. Security forces in Sana’a are currently in a stand-off with protestors near the university. Sunday, police and government supporters attacked protestors camped near Sana’a University, injuring hundreds of people. Police fired live rounds and tear gas from rooftops at a crowd of 3,000 people while government supporters attacked on the ground. At least two people died Sunday. Yemen’s Interior Ministry denied Saturday that live rounds were used. Saturday, at least four people were killed and hundreds wounded in a similar crackdown.
- Clashes erupted in al Jawf governorate when protestors took over a municipal building. Security forces attempted to stop the protestors from taking the building by firing on them, but did not prevail. At least ten people were injured in the clash and two soldiers and an officer were killed.
- Three people were injured when police fired into the air to disperse tens of thousands of protestors. Monday, there were reports of heavy gunfire in Taiz. Sunday, witnesses report clashes between police and protestors injured at least four people. At least twelve protestors were injured Saturday when security forces fired on them.
- Sunday, President Saleh dismissed Hamoud al Hattar, a government minister who was charged with trying to engage the protestors in dialogue. A presidential decree made further changes to the government, naming Hamoud Mohammad Abad and Aref Awad al Zoka ministers.
- In Aden, protestors seized weapons from a police station. Medics report six protestors were shot in the head and another two were in critical condition after clashes Saturday night. Friday, security forces fired on protestors in a stadium in Sheikh Uthman, near Aden, as the protestors tore down pictures of President Saleh. At least six people were injured.
- Former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a statement: “Violence must cease immediately. We call on the Yemeni government to quickly investigate these incidents and take all necessary steps to protect the rights of all its citizens in accordance with President Saleh’s commitments…. We reiterate our call for a commitment by all sides to participate in an open and transparent process that addresses the legitimate concerns of all Yemeni people ... We believe this is the best approach to advance the interests of the Yemeni people.”
- Governor of Ma’rib governorate Ahmed Naji al Zaidi convoy was attacked by two men on Monday amidst an anti-government protest around Ma’rib’s headquarters. The governor survived being stabbed twice in the neck and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
- Attackers believed to be al Qaeda members shot and killed four security officers in the southeastern Mukalla region while they were patrolling on Friday. The gunmen were not found. A Yemeni soldier was killed and three others were injured as another attack occurred on security patrolling the Zinjibar area. The attack is believed to have been carried out by al Qaeda gunmen as well.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- TFG forces exchanged friendly fire with one another in Mogadishu resulting in one death and injuring five.
- Dif Village in the Lower Jubba region experienced heavy fighting between the Ras Kamboni brigade and al Shabaab. Five deaths were reported and numerous injuries occurred as al Shabaab’s offensive was countered by the Ras Kamboni brigade. The Ras Kamboni brigade claimed they burned a number of vehicles used by rebels in their effort to take back the village. Kenyan helicopters hovered over Dif during the fighting and more Kenyan troops were positioned at the Kenya-Somalia border nearby. 
- Shabelle Media Network reported three deaths as fighting broke out in the town of Beledweyne between fighters loyal to the Shabelle Valley administration and al Shabaab rebels. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Mus’ab claimed the militia was backed by Ethiopian forces. Shabelle Valley’s minister of information Mohammed Nur reported that eight al Shabaab combatants were killed in action.
- Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed requested more resources and equipment from the United States government for the TFG forces fighting al Shabaab rebels. He stated that troop numbers were sufficient and additional forces would not be needed.
- Shabelle Media Network reported that al Shabaab militants opened fire on Somali military bases in Hodan and Hawl Wadag districts in Mogadishu. The fighters quickly fled the scene following the attacks that left at least one civilian dead.
- Shabelle Media Network reported that al Shabaab fighters launched a mortar attacks on Beled Hawo on the Somali border with Kenya. Al Shabaab representatives claimed that many Somali soldiers were killed in the attacks and irreversible damages had been inflicted on the Somali government’s forces.
- The Burundian government sent 1,000 additional troops to Somali boosting the number of Burundi forces there to 4,400. Burundian Lieutenant Colonel Jastace Ciza reported that the troops were sent to Mogadishu. Military sources in Mandera reported that 600 Somali soldiers trained in Kenya are returning to Somalia to join the fight.
- Al Shabaab officials have stated that Hizb al Islam fighters did not participate in the fighting in Mogadishu against AMISOM and Somali government forces where valuable al Shabaab military positions have been ceded. Hizb al Islam forces have cited al Shabaab’s confiscation of their weapons and vehicles as reasons for their inaction. The two organizations have engaged in talks and Hizb al Islam fighters claim they will rejoin the fight if they are given back their supplies.
- Garowe reported fighting in Dhusa Mareb in the central Galgudud region reached a death toll of 28 and left 50 wounded as al Shabaab rebels clashed with Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a combatants. The town was controlled by the Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a but was claimed taken by al Shabaab officials.
- Garowe reported the deaths of 10 people in al Shabaab controlled Hodan and Hawl Wadag districts in Mogadishu. Most of the deaths were reported by medics on the scene to be fighters and at least 17others were wounded.