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 President Saleh says war with al Houthis is over; one killed in protests in Dhale; second Iranian ship captured off coast of Yemen this week; journalist rights groups petitions on behalf of two jailed journalists


Horn of Africa: Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a members reject TFG power sharing agreement; Hizb al Islam vows to attack Ethiopian troops; Somali High Court Chairman claims “attack” by TFG ministers; Eritrean opposition group rejects accusation that it continues to send weapons to Somalia; al Shabaab condemns Western nations for their plot to control Somalia; Dutch naval forces capture and release Somali pirates


Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Friday that the war with the al Houthi rebels in the north of the country is unequivocally over. The Yemeni government has come under international pressure to end its war with the al Houthis and redirect their attention to the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen.[1]
  • One protester was killed and three wounded as crowds gathered to demonstrate in the southern city of Dhale. Protesters were gathering to celebrate “southern prisoners’ day,” when government security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition into the crowd. The city has been under a tight security cordon for the past several weeks to quell separatist activity.[2]
  • A second Iranian ship has been seized in Yemeni waters this week. The ship, captured by the Yemeni coast guard, was reported to have been fishing off the coast of the island of Socotra. The Yemeni government has not confirmed any details regarding the seizure.[3]
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists has written a letter to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh expressing concern for the health of Hishram Bashraheel and Muhammed al Maqaleh, two journalists currently imprisoned by Yemeni authorities. The letter also implored President Saleh to investigate as to whether Mr. al Maqaleh has been tortured while in custody.[4]


Horn of Africa Security Brief

  •  A section of the moderate Islamist group Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a has rejected the power sharing agreement reached between the group and the Somali government. Sheikh Bashir Abdi Olaad, the group’s foreign relations officer, and his colleague Sheikh Abdiqadir Abdirahman, a.k.a Abu-Zakriya, claimed the agreement was a betrayal of the entire group and is meant to dissolve the group. The section stated while they see the agreement as a betrayal, they do not oppose the government.[5]
  • Elements of the Islamist rebel group Hizb al Islam situated in the Hiran region have vowed to attack Ethiopian troops who, according to Sheik Mohamed Wehliye Odowa, the group’s spokesperson, have made military maneuvers suggesting an upcoming assault. Odowa said that the group had gained support from the people in the Hiran region if an attack were to occur.[6]
  • TFG High Court Chairman Mohamed Omar Farah, a.k.a Indabur, claimed TFG ministers attacked the work and undermined the legitimacy of the high court. Farah emphasized there was no physical conflict between the Justice Committee and the Ministry of Justice, but rather disagreement.[7]
  • The Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, an Eritrean opposition group  based in Asmara, has denied claims by a UN monitoring group that it is continuing to send weapons to Somalia.[8]
  • The Islamist Rebel group al Shabaab has condemned the United States, along with Great Britain, for planning to take over Somalia by force. Sheikh Yussuf Kabo Ku-tukade, the Gedo region commissioner, stated the group was “courageous” enough to fight the Western nations and confident in the group’s abilities to defeat them. Sheikh Kabo Ku-tukade also urged the Somalis to fight Western imperialism.[9]
  • Dutch naval forces captured and released 20 “would-be” Somali hijackers. The captured Somalis are to be released later today with their boat on the Somali coast. The Dutch navy released the pirates due to the difficulties of putting them on trial.[10]



[1] “Yemen War With Shi’ite Rebels Is Over: President,” Reuters, March 19, 2010. Available:
[2] “1 Killed, 3 Wounded As Dhale Can’t Calm Down,” Yemen Post, March 18, 2010. Available:
[3] “Second Iranian Ship Seized Off Yemen in Week,” Yemen Post, March 19, 2010. Available:
[4] “CPJ Demands Yemen’s President to Free Editors,” Sahwa Net, March 18, 2010. Available:
[5] “Ahlu Sunnah Members Reject Agreement With TFG ,” Garowe Online, March 19, 2010. Available:
[6] “Hizbul Islam Vows Attacks Against Ethiopian Troops in Central Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, March 19, 2010. Available:
[7] “'Some Ministries Attack the High Court' Chairman,” Shabelle Media Network, March 19, 2010. Available:
[8] “Opposition - 'Asmara Does Not Send Weapon to Somalia'” Shabelle Media Network, March 19, 2010. Available:
[9] “Al-Shabab in Somalia Censures the Western Countries,” Somaliweyn, March 19, 2010. Available:
[10] “Dutch Arrest Somali Pirates Then Set Them Free,” Somaliweyn, March 19, 2010. Available:
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