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: Dubai police stopped weapons shipment to Yemen; Bakil tribe leader calls for Saleh’s immediate resignation; Saleh offers early elections; Republican Guards clash with army units supporting opposition; security officials announce the deaths of 15 al Qaeda militants this week
Horn of Africa: TFG deputy commissioner reports Mogadishu security is improving; al Shabaab demands $18,000 from transportation services in Bay region; Kenyan troops reported to have crossed Somali border; TFG parliamentarian calls for dialogue with al Shabaab; two al Shabaab militants surrender; TFG military officials report lack of compensation; AMISOM announces plans for new military bases in Mogadishu; artillery shelling kills seven people in Bakara market; UN reports increase of child soldiers
Yemen Security Brief
- Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim reported that Dubai authorities seized a $4.36 million weapons shipment at Jebel Ali port, allegedly destined for Sa’ada governorate in Yemen. The shipment of 16,000 Turkish-made pistols was hidden in a red cargo shipping container. It had passed through an Egyptian port first, and was originally intended for another Gulf port. One Turkish individual was arrested and five others from Arab countries were detained. All of them maintained residency in Dubai.
- Sheikh Sinan Abu Lohoum, the leader of the largest tribe in Yemen, the Bakil tribe, called for President Saleh to step down immediately and to put an end to the violence. Abu Lohoum’s statement was read aloud in Sana’a; he is currently in the U.S. receiving medical treatment. His family members have confirmed the authenticity of the statement. An estimated 10,000 people have gathered in Sana’a chanting for Saleh to leave.
- President Saleh wrote in a letter to the opposition, “At this historic moment Yemen needs wisdom to avoid slipping into violence ... that would destroy gains and leave the country facing a dangerous fate.” He also proposed a constitutional referendum, then a parliamentary election, and a presidential poll by the end of 2011.
- Republican Guards loyal to President Saleh fought with army units supporting the opposition. The fighting occurred in Hadramawt governorate town of Mukalla where at least two were injured.
- Yemen security forces announced they killed fifteen terrorists this week. Twelve of those killed were al Qaeda members in Abyan governorate. Three others were killed in Ma’rib.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The Deputy Force Commissioner General Sebriin Hakiza reported that the security of Mogadishu was improving. Launching points for al Shabaab fighters to carry out offensives on AMISOM and Transitional Federal Government forces were confiscated by government allied forces.
- Public transport services in the Baidoa district of Bay region were order by al Shabaab’s finance officer Mr. Bakor to provide the militant group with $18,000 in fifteen days. The money will be used to support military operations against TFG and AMISOM forces.
- Kenya’s Standard Newspaper reported Kenya’s General Service Unit crossed the border into Somalia to fight al Shabaab militants. The report was denied by Kenyan police spokesman. Twelve al Shabaab fighters were reported killed in the Kenyan border town of Liboi.
- TFG parliament member Abdurrahman Salad Ali called for open dialogue with al Shabaab saying that talks were necessary between the warring forces.
- Two al Shabaab militants surrendered to TFG forces. Minister of information Abdirazak Mohammed Qeylow reported that the individuals were children. Qeylow announced that al Shabaab militants would be welcomed if they surrender to the government.
- Galmudug security forces in patrolling in Galkayo arrested three individuals believed to be connected to crimes in the area.
- TFG military officials reported they had not received compensation from the government for their work since 2009. Spokesman for the military forces Abdi Barre stated that the Defense Ministry failed to meet its obligation to military personnel.
- Spokesman for AMISOM Barigye Bahoku announced plans for the creation of new military bases in Mogadishu. He reported that the Burundian forces just arriving in Somalia would occupy new bases in former al Shabaab-controlled areas.
- Artillery shelling in Bakara market killed seven civilians and wounded 21 others. Witnesses reported the firing came from AMISOM bases at a time when AMISOM forces and al Shabaab were not engaged in battle.
- The United Nations reported the increased use of child soldiers in Somalia’s armed conflict. It is estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 children are involved in the fighting.