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: Parliament votes for emergency powers; protestors plan protest outside of Saleh’s palace on Friday; Yemeni troops clash in Mukalla, continued fighting in al Jawf; Saleh warns against military coup

Horn of Africa: Germany gives AMISOM more funding; AMISOM troops deny targeting civilians; ten people die in Mogadishu fighting; al Shabaab blocks vehicles from entering Gedo region; Somali police amp up security; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a patrol arrests al Shabaab militants accused of militia base attack

Yemen Security Brief

  • Members of parliament voted to back a thirty-day state of emergency that gave President Saleh expanded powers of arrest and censorship. Opposition protestors questioned the legality of the vote.[1]
  • The opposition called for a demonstration outside of President Saleh’s palace on the outskirts of Sana’a on Friday. Spokesman for the Joint Meeting Parties, a coalition of opposition groups, Mohamed Qahtan issued a statement to the President:  "Friday will be the 'Friday of the March Forward', with hundreds of thousands of people... We will arrive where you are and we will remove you."[2]
  • Loyalist military forces surrounded the presidential palace with tanks on Tuesday night to ensure security while forces loyal to defector General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar surrounded other key installations in the capital. Yemen tribesmen have been engaged in political dialogue as instability in the country increases.[3]
  • Republican Guard forces and Eastern Military Zone troops, who have defected, clashed in Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt governorate.  Witnesses report three soldiers and an officer were killed. Fighting continues in al Jawf governorate over control of the 115th Infantry Division base, which al Houthi rebels and commanders who support the protest currently control.  IRIN reports over forty people have been killed in the past few days.[4]
  • President Saleh warned March 22 against a military coup: “Those who want to climb to the seat of power through military coups should not believe that the situation will be stabilized… They are totally wrong. It won’t be stable. It would lead to bloody civil war.”[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Germany supplied over 3.5 million euros ($4.9 million) to African Union peacekeeping forces in Somalia. The money is for equipment such as water purifiers, vehicles and generators and will not be used to buy weapons.[6]
  • Major General Nathan Mugisha denied charges that AMISOM troops targeted residential areas of Mogadishu with mortars during Monday’s fighting with al Shabaab.[7]
  • Fighting in Mogadishu between Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops backed by African Union forces and al Shabaab militants killed at least ten people and injured twenty others on Monday.[8]
  • Al Shabaab militants reportedly blocked trucks carry goods and business from moving through the government controlled Bay region, Luq district in Gedo region, Elwaq district, and Beled Hawo. The road blocking began after al Shabaab official Said Yussuf Mohamud issued a statement that all travel to government controlled areas was restricted and those attempting to enter would be punished.[9]
  • Somali police began search operations in the government-controlled areas of Mogadishu. The aim of the new operations is to ensure security and peace. Privately owned cars and publicly operated vehicles were searched as part of the new safety measure.[10]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a forces in Beled Hawo district in Gedo region arrested eleven suspected al Shabaab rebels believed to be responsible for an attack on an Ahlu Sunna militia base on Monday. The suspects face trial.[11]

[1] “Yemen legislators endorse Saleh’s state of emergency,” Bloomberg. March 23, 2011. Available:
Yemen opposition rejects emergency law vote,” Zawya, March 23, 2011. Available:
“Yemen’s president gets new powers,” Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2011. Available:
[2] “Yemen opposition calls for mass protest on Friday,” Reuters, March 23, 2011. Available:
“Youths in Square of Change to March on Presidential Palace Friday – JMP Spokesman,” Yemen Post, March 23, 2011. Available:
[3] “Yemen’s president gets new powers,” Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2011. Available:
[4] “Forty Killed in Clashes in Northern Governorate of al-Jawf,” IRIN News, March 23, 2011.  Available:
[5] “Saleh, age of coup is over,” Yemen Observer, March 23, 2011. Available:
[6] “Germany provides 3.5 million euros for AU peacekeeping mission in Soma,” Shabelle Media Network, March 23, 2011. Available:
[7] Abdisalan Abdulle “AMISOM denies it targeted residential areas,” Suna Times, March 23, 2011. Available:
[8] “Calm returns to Mogadishu after one day of battles,” Shabelle Media Network, March 23, 2011. Available:
[9] “Al Shabaab blocks business trucks from govt Luq,” Shaballe Media Network, March 23, 2011. Available:
“Al-Shabaab imposes rule on Bardere residents,” Suna Times, March 23, 2011. Available:
[10] “Somali police start search operations in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, March 23, 2011. Available:
[11] Ahlusuna group carries out operation in Belet Hawo,” Suna Times, March 23, 2011. Available:
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