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 government accuses al Houthi rebels of breaking truce; Yemeni officials identify additional al Qaeda members killed in airstrike; series of blasts in southern city of Aden; Yemeni ruling party threatens to ban al Jazeera from country

Horn of Africa: Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a officialy joins government forces in fight against al Shabaab; pirates free Singapore chemical tanker; two Somali MPs released from Ethiopian prison; President Sheikh Shairf returns from Dubai conference; UN Special Representative for Somalia cites Somalia as moving from a “failed” to a “fragile” state

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni government said Tuesday that al Houthi rebels have violated the month-long truce between the two sides. Yemen’s chief security committees said that al Houthi rebels were not abiding by the terms of the truce, by returning to fighting positions, attacking civilians, and failing to turn over landmines removed from the conflict zone. Independent analysts have said that the truce is unlikely to hold if the government does not address the underlying grievances of the al Houthis.[1]
  • After Yemeni authorities identified Jamil Nasser Abdullah al Ambari yesterday as the leader of al Qaeda in southern Abyan province, the government identified two of the other al Qaeda militants killed in the airstrike on Sunday. Samir al Sanaani and Ahmed Amzarba, both alleged member of al Qaeda, were also killed in the strike on a suspected al Qaeda training site in Moudia in Abyan province.[2]
  • A series of blasts in Aden has prompted the Yemeni government to send a large contingent of troops to the city. A local official said the explosions were likely caused by firebombs, while other local media sources described the blasts as coming from grenades. Witnesses said that five separate blasts occurred between 10:30 and 11:00 on Monday night. There were no reports of deaths or injuries.[3]
  • The ruling party in Yemen has threatened to permanently ban al Jazeera in the country if they do not review their objectivity towards the conflict in the south of the country. Yemeni authorities seized al Jazeera’s broadcasting equipment last Thursday. [4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The Sufi Somali Islamist group Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a has officially joined forces with Somalia’s government in fighting al Shabaab. The power sharing agreement was reached at the Africa Union headquarters in Ethiopia where Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a will be given control of five ministries and incorporated into the governments security forces.[5]
  • After four months, Somali pirates have released a Singapore chemical tanker and its North Korean crew after being paid a ransom of approximately $3.5 million. The tanker was originally headed for Mombassa, Kenya when it was seized.[6]
  • Somali MPs, Abdullah Farey and Sheikh Hussein Gagale, along with Ugaska, a military officer, were released from an Ethiopian prison in the town of Jigjiga, after being detained for 45 days. Top TFG officials were cited as having an important role in their release.[7]
  • Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has returned from Dubai after attending a conference on Somalia. Also present at the conference were Islamic clerics, who cited the current wars in Mogadishu as “Un-Islamic.”[8]
  • UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, stated Somalia has moved from a “failed state” to a “fragile state.”[9]


[1] “Yemen Says Rebels Breach Truce, Blasts Hit Aden,” Reuters, March 16, 2010. Available:
[2] “Yemen air raids kill three Qaeda members: official,” AFP, March 16, 2010. Available:
[3] “Series of Small Blasts Hit City in Southern Yemen,” Reuters, March 16, 2010. Available:
[4] “Yemen Hints at al Jazeera Closure,” Yemen Observer, March 16, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somali Sufi Group Joins Government to Fight al-Shabab,” BBC News, March 15, 2010. Available:
[6] “Somali Pirates Free Chemical Tanker and N Korea Crew,” BBC News, March 16, 2010. Available:
[7] “After 45 Days of Detention Somali MPs Walkout of Jail in Ethiopia,” Somaliweyn, March 16, 2010. Available:
[8] “President Returns to Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, March 15, 2010. Available:
[9] “Somalia Moving Steadily from Failed to Fragile State-Press Release,” Mareeg Online, March 15, 2010. Available:
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