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 kill southern secessionist activist in Aden; protest Yemeni government peacefully in Amran; Saudis who fought in Iraq and Syria go to Yemen

Horn of Africa: AMISOM and Somali forces seize key town in Hiraan region; U.N. Security Council removes Somali businessman from sanctions list; al Shabaab raids utility stations in Galgudud region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security forces killed a southern secessionist activist, Mubarak al Awlaki, in Mansoura neighborhood in Aden on March 14. According to an Aden police official, security forces had surrounded a building where a number of secessionist activists were residing. When the activists resisted security forces and attempted to escape, security forces shot and killed Mubarak al Awlaki and injured at least three other activists.[1]
  • Supporters of the al Houthi movement marched peacefully in an anti-government demonstration through the capital of Amran governorate on March 14. Reports indicate that at least one thousand rebels participated in the protest, many carrying assault rifles driving vehicles armed with rocket launchers. The al Houthis purportedly demanded the resignation of the Amran governor Mohammed Hassan Dammaj and the commander of the army's 310th Armored Brigade, General Hamid al Qushaibi.[2]
  • A senior Yemeni security official reported that dozens of battle-hardened Saudi militants who fought in Syria or Iraq have entered Yemen over the past few months. The unnamed security source said that the Saudis arriving in Yemen have explosives and weapons expertise and are training others.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM forces captured Bulo-Burde town in Hiraan region from al Shabaab on March 13. The joint forces, featuring Djiboutian and Ethiopian AMISOM contingents, clashed with militants before seizing the al Shabaab stronghold, concluding yesterday’s offensive in Hiraan region. Separately, the Hiraan administration imposed an evening curfew in the regional capital of Beledweyne as a preventative measure against al Shabaab retaliation.[4]
  • The UN Security Council Committee on Somalia and Eritrea removed Somali businessman Ali Ahmed Nur Jim’ale from its sanctions list on March 11. Jim’ale was subject to travel restrictions, arms embargo, and frozen assets under the UN sanctions due to his role as a financier and money launderer for al Shabaab.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants raided two utility stations in the Elbur district of Galgudud region on March 9. According to an Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a official, the militants looted essential equipment before cutting power and water to local residents in anticipation of AMISOM and Somali military advancement into the region.[6]

[1] “Security Soldiers Kill Secessionist Activist in Yemen's Aden,” Shanghai Daily, March 14, 2014. Available:
[2] “Shiite Rebels Rally in Yemen City Demanding Government Quit,” The Daily Star, March 14, 2014. Available:
[3] Rania el Gamal, “Saudis Hardened by Wars in Syria, Iraq join al Qaeda in Yemen,” Reuters, March 14, 2014. Available:
[4] “PRESS RELEASE: AMISOM, Somali National Army capture the sixth town from Al-Shabaab,” AMISOM, March 13, 2014. Available:
“Buulobarde district liberated by co-allied troops,” Shabelle News, March 14, 2014. Available:
“Al-Shabab Pushed out of key town in Central Somalia,” Horseed Media, March 13, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Nighttime curfew in Baletwayn town, Hiran Administration imposes,” RBC Radio, March 13, 2014. Available:
[5] “Security Council 751 and 1907 Committee on Somalia and Eritrea: Deletes Ali Ahmed Nur Jim’ale from its Sanctions List,” U.N. Department of Public Information, March 12, 2014. Available:
[6] “Al-Shabaab loots power stations in El Bur, cuts off electricity and water,” Sabahi Online, March 13, 2014. Available:
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