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: Jihadist claims that Said al Shihri still alive; Southern Movement gunmen clash with security forces in Aden; northern tribal leaders meet to discuss al Houthi issue; 22nd Brigade soldiers mutiny in Taiz city; announcement that no guns to be allowed in Sana’a in run-up to National Dialogue; unknown militants blow up Ma’rib oil pipeline; unknown militants attack power lines in Nihm, Sana’a governorate; al Houthi gunmen clash with Salafists and security forces in al Jahmiliya, Taiz city; Islah Party submits final list of representatives for National Dialogue

Horn of Africa: Unknown gunmen shoot and kill a Somali Navy officer in Mogadishu; Somali government troops exchange gunfire in Beled Hawo, Gedo region; unknown gunmen shoot and kill four men in Mogadishu; Somaliland police find explosives in a house in Hargeisa, Woqooyi Galbeed district; Somali Army leaders are replaced; Ras Kamboni and Jubbaland conference leaders travel to Nairobi; 12,000 Somali refugees return home in January and February; Jubbaland conference leaders request government presence

Yemen Security Brief

  • A jihadist calling himself “Fukku al 'Aani” tweeted on March 12 that AQAP leader Said al Shihri was alive but injured, contrary to earlier reports of his death. On March 12 and 13, users on top-tier jihadist forums confirmed the news to be true.[1]
  • Gunmen clashed with security forces in the city of Aden on March 13, amid a campaign of civil disobedience imposed on the city by the Southern Movement. Clashes were reported in the Sheikh Othman and Dar Saad districts of the city, as well as in al Mansoura district, in which security forces killed two people.[2]
  • Tribal leaders from Sa’ada, Amran, Sana’a, Hajjah and Jawf met in Sana’a on March 13, to discuss al Houthi control of Sa’ada governorate and other areas. Tribal leaders called on the al Houthi movement to give up heavy weapons, and control of Sa’ada governorate.[3]
  • Soldiers from the 22nd Brigade besieged and burned the vehicle of their commander, Brigadier General Mohammed al Bukhaiti, following protests against the commander and gunfights in the brigade camp in Taiz city on March 13.[4]
  • Major General Ali Saeed Obaid announced that no guns would be allowed in the capital of Sana’a, with the exception of those belonging to special permit holders, in the run-up to the March 18 National Dialogue conference.[5]
  • Anonymous gunmen blew up the Ma’rib oil pipeline in Habab Sarwakhah, Ma’rib governorate on March 13. Three brigades, consisting of Special Forces and Central Security units had been deployed to the region.[6]
  • Gunmen attacked power lines in Nihm, Sana’a governorate on March 14, knocking the Ma’rib Power Station out of commission.[7]
  • Security forces intervened when al Houthi gunmen clashed with Salafists in al Jahmiliya, Taiz city on March 13. Two children were wounded in the incident.[8]
  • The Islah Party submitted its final list of names of representatives to the National Dialogue conference on March 13.[9]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Unknown gunmen shot and killed a Somali Navy officer in Mogadishu on March 13. The officer was shot while leaving his mosque after evening prayers. No group has claimed responsibility and the reason behind the attack is not known.[10]
  • Somali government troops exchanged gunfire in Beled Hawo, Gedo region on March 13. The gunfight started after a several soldiers tried to steal a relief food truck. One soldier was killed and two more were injured.[11]
  • Four dead bodies were found in the Daynile district of Mogadishu on March 13. The four men were shot and killed by unknown attackers. The reason behind the shootings is not known.[12]
  • Somaliland police found explosive material during a raid at a house in Hargeisa, Woqooyi Galbeed on March 13. Some of the materials were explosives used in the mining process, and the building was rented to a Chinese exploration company. One security guard was confirmed arrested.[13]
  • Top Somali Army leaders were replaced during a ceremony in Mogadishu on March 13. Army Chief General Abdikadir Sheikh Dini was relieved of his duty and General Adan Elmi became the new army chief. Deputy Army Chief General Abdikarin Yusuf Dhega was replaced by General Abdirisaq Khalif Hussein.[14]
  • Ras Kamboni leader and interim leader of Kismayo, Ahmed Madobe, reportedly traveled to Nairobi on March 13, with other members of the Jubbaland conference. The conference members traveled to Kenya in order to receive advice on the formation of a Jubbaland state.[15]
  • In the first two months of 2013, 12,000 Somali refugees returned home according to a UN agency report on March 12. Approximately 10,500 of these refuges came from Kenya and Ethiopia, while the rest came from Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The number of Somali people leaving the country for Kenya markedly decreased with 213 people tracked in November and 57 people tracked in December.[16]
  • Leaders at the Jubbaland conference in Kismayo, Lower Jubba continued to request government presence on March 14. The Somali government has still refused to participate.[17]    

[1] “Jihadists Claim AQAP Deputy Leader is Still Alive, Suffered Injuries,” SITE Intel Group, March 13, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] “Violence Returns to the City of Aden,” al Masdar Online, March 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Tribal Meeting in Sana’a Demanding al Houthis Give Up Heavy Weapons and Surrender Northern Areas to State Power,” al Masdar Online, March 14, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Clashes in Taiz Military Brigade and Soldiers Surround their Commander After a Protest Demanding his Departure,” al Masdar Online, March 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Security Measures: No Guns Allowed in the Capital,” Yemen Post, March 13, 2013. Available:
[6] “Breaking: New Bombing Targets Pipelines in Ma’rib, Flames Still Rising From Yesterday’s Explosion,” Barakish Net, March 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Power Lines Face New Attack in Nihm Less than 24 Hours After They Were Fixed,” Mareb Press, March 14, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Taiz: Security Breaks Up Clashes Between al Houthis and Salafists in al Jahmiliya,” Mareb Press, March 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Islah Party Announces Final List of National Dialogue Conference Representatives,” al Masdar Online, March 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[10] “Somali Navy Officer Killed in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, March 14, 2013. Available:
[11] “One Soldier Killed, Two Injured in Beled Hawo,” Bar Kulan, March 13, 2013. Available:
[12] “Four Dead Bodies Found in Daynile District of Mogadishu,” Hiiraan Online, March 13, 2013. Available:
[13] “Somaliland Security Forces Seize Weapon Material on a Raid in Hargeisa,” Qaran News, March 13, 2013. Available:
[14] “Somalia Changes its Top Military Commanders,” Shabelle, March 13, 2013. Available:
[15] “Negotiations between the Kismayo Parts Continues in Nairobi,” Kulmiye News, March 13, 2013. Available:
[16] “Over 12,000 Somali Refugees Returned Home in Two Months,” Xinhua, March 14, 2013. Available:
[17] “Kismayo, Convention Organizers Call for Government Participation in the Process,” Bar Kulan, March 14, 2013. Available:
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