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.

YemenMa’rib oil pipeline burns; protestor killed, four soldiers in al Jawf shot by tribesman; western journalists deported for coverage

Horn of Africa: Fire fights in Hiraan; Mandera bombing targeting Kenyan soldiers; al Shabaab kills four passengers in public service vehicle; new AFRICOM commander General Ham said countering al Shabaab U.S. priority

Yemen Security Brief

  • In Ma’rib, Yemeni tribal militants maintained a fire burning an oil pipeline and causing road damage. It was unclear if their actions were related to anti-government protests.[1]
  • A security official and tribal leaders confirmed the death of an activist in al Jawf governorate saying that Naser Musleh Nasm was “killed in the armed clash with supporters of the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC).” Security forces and GPC members have surrounded the compound, warning protestors that they will be evicted by force, according to a tribal leader. Anti-government tribesmen shot and killed four government soldiers in a security compound Monday night in al Jaf near the Saudi border.[2]
  • Four western journalists covering the unrest in Sana’a were deported. The Yemeni authorities offered no explanation for the removal of Haley Sweetland (Los Angeles Times and AOL News), Oliver Holmes (Wall Street Journal and Time magazine), Portia Walker (The Washington Post freelancer), and Joshua Maricich (Yemen Times and a photographer) as they were taken from their home in the capital and brought to an immigration office.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Fire fights broke out in Hiraan Monday night between al Shabaab and Shabelle Valley fighters loyal to the local administration. A majority of the violence occurred in Elgal in a village called Ilka-adde. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdi Aziz Abu Mus’ab stated that al Shabaab militants attacked Shabelle military bases and drove the Shabelle fighters out to an Ethiopian base in Kalabeyrka junction.   Shabelle Valley minister of information Mohammed Nur confirmed the attack by al Shabaab but denied that they had been forced to retreat.[4]
  • Sheikh Mohamed al Qadi of the Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a group verified reports that al Shabaab militants bombed the Mandera district on the Kenyan border region Monday night. No one was killed in the blasts that were aimed at Kenyan forces.[5]
  • Bar Kulan reported that al Shabaab militants attacked a public service vehicle in Fidow near the Jowhar region killing four passengers and injuring nine others. Al Shabaab did not issue a statement on the cause of the shooting. [6]
  • General Carter Ham visited Africa for the first time since taking command of AFRICOM. On the situation in Somalia, he said, “The real issue is, can these tactical gains be sustained over time, and can those tactical gains lead to longer term stability and security?” Ham noted that al Shabaab is a top U.S. priority and that the U.S. would support AMISOM through training, equipment, and logistical support. Ham added on the pirates, “There has to be a whole-government approach to deal with their finances and to deal with their activities on shore.”[7]

[1] “Yemeni tribesman keep oil pipeline ablaze,” Voice of America, March 15, 2011. Available:
[2] Ahmed al-Haj, “Witnesses say anti-government tribesmen in Yemen border town kill 4 soldiers after protest,” Associated Press, March 15, 2011. Available:   
[3] Mohammed Jamjoom, “Yemen deports 4 western journalists,” CNN, March 15, 2011. Available:   
[4] “Clashes erupt in Hiran region of central Somalia, factions claim victory,” Shabelle Media Network, March 15, 2011. Available:
[5] “Al Shabaab bombs Mandera border,” Bar Kulan, March 15, 2011. Available:  
[6] “Al Shabaab insurgents kill travelers,” Bar Kulan, March 15, 2011. Available:       
[7] Seth Robbins, “Ham Makes First Visit to Africa as New Commander,” Stars and Stripes, March 14, 2011.  Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Apr '11
Mar '11
Feb '11