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: National Congress for the People of the South releases demands for its continued participation in the National Dialogue conference; Southern Movement leader announces coordination meetings in Cairo and Beirut; National Dialogue subcommittee recommends dismissal of Aden governor and military commanders; popular committee members impose curfew in Lawder, Abyan governorate; 119th Brigade and popular committees raid AQAP houses near Jaar and Shaqra, Abyan governorate; Shabwah Axis commander mediating tribal dispute in Shabwah governorate; tribal gunmen kidnap man in Sana’a; report that impoverished Yemeni youth being trafficked by Qatari officials to fight in Syria

Horn of Africa: Somali and AMISOM troops find and clear five IEDs in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; talks end between Somali prime minster and interim governor of Kismayo; Somali government expects first light arms shipment within two month; Mombasa Republican Council attacks a casino in Malindi, Kenya; Kenya-based Muslim Youth Center calls for al Shabaab to take action against Omar Hammami; Islamic World Issues Center offers open interviews with Omar Hammami; Kenya Supreme Court to rule on election petition

Yemen Security Brief

  • The National Congress for the People of the South released six demands for its continued participation in the National Dialogue Conference on March 29. These included the transfer of the team working on Southern issues to a foreign, neutral country, a cessation of violence related to security operations in the south, and the reinstatement of Southern officials previously thrown out of the military or government.[1]
  • The Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for the Southern Movement, Salah al Shanfara, announced that Southern Movement leadership was attempting to reconcile their disparate positions over the course of two meetings in Cairo and Beirut in the coming days, in a speech on March 27 in Arhab, al Hussayn, al Dhaleh governorate. The Beirut meeting will include former Yemeni Vice President Ali Salem al Beidh and Head of the Supreme Council of the Southern Movement Hassan Ahmed al Baoum.[2]
  • A committee of the National Dialogue tasked with dealing with southern issues recommended the dismissal of the Aden governor as well as a number of military commanders on March 27.[3]
  • Popular committee members imposed a curfew on residents of in Lawder, Abyan governorate on March 27.[4]
  • Forces from the 119th Infantry Brigade and popular committees raided homes suspected of belonging to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members in the Sakin, 'Ays, and Jalijla areas west of Jaar, Abyan governorate, and in Shaqra, Abyan governorate.[5]
  • Shabwah Axis Commander Major General Mohammed al Jamaa'i is working to mediate between the warring al Karb and al 'Asfour al Bareek tribes in Shabwah governorate. As a part of this mediation, al Jamaa'i met with Sheikh 'Amr 'Ali Bahismi in al 'Aqla, Shabwah governorate on March 28.[6]
  • Tribal gunmen from Sharab, Taiz governorate, kidnapped a Shabwah man, Mubarak Salem Abdu Rabbu Muharraq, while he was visiting his brother, a political prisoner, in prison in Sana'a on March 27. The gunmen subsequently transferred him to Sharab, Taiz governorate.[7]
  • Impoverished Yemeni youth are being bought and trafficked to Syria by Qatari security officers to fight as mercenaries in the Free Syrian Army and Jabhat al Nusrah, according to a March 28 report in Yemen Today.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali and AMISOM forces found and cleared five improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on March 28 and 29.[9]
  • Talks between the Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon and Interim Governor of Kismayo Ahmed Madobe ended on March 29. The discussions, which focused on creating a new regional government, ended in a stalemate. The Somali government said that they were willing to make several concessions however, Madobe reportedly made unconstitutional demands.[10]
  • The Somali government expects to receive its first shipment of light arms within two months of the United Nations Security Council decision to lift the arms ban on Somalia.[11]
  • The Kenyan separatist group the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) raided a casino in Malindi, Kenya on March 28. The attackers were armed with machetes and began attacking casino patrons. Police intervened and shot and killed six MRC members. One police officer was killed in the incident. [12]
  • Kenya-based Muslim Youth Center posted a message to its blog on March 29 calling for al Shabaab to take action against Omar Hammami for “fomenting dissent.”[13]
  • Somali-based Islamic World Issues Study Center offered open interviews with Omar Hammami via its three websites on March 27. The interviews give proponents or opponents of jihad the opportunity to ask Hammami questions about Somali and Islamic concerns.[14]
  • The Kenyan Supreme Court will rule on Raila Odinga’s election petition on March 30.[15]   

[1] “Popular Congress of the South Demands President Hadi Implements Six Demands for Their Continued Participation in the Dialogue,” Barakish Net, March 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Al Shanfara Reveals Two Upcoming Meetings of Southern Movement Leaders in Cairo and Beirut,” Barakish Net, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Dialogue Conference Recommends Dismissal of Aden Governor,” Yemen Today, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Popular Committees Declare Curfew in Lawder,” Yemen Today, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Popular Committees Declare Curfew in Lawder,” Yemen Today, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Shabwah Axis Commander Seeks to Stop Clashes Between Two Tribes in the Oil-Rich al ‘Aqla Region,” al Masdar Online, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Shar’ab Tribe Kidnaps Shabwah Man in Central Sana’a,” Barakish Net, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Yemenis as Mercenaries in Syria,” Yemen Today, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] Somali, AU Forces “Thwarts Deadly Attacks in Kismayo,” Bar Kulan, March 29, 2013. Available:
[10] “Prime Minister and His Delegates Expected to Arrive at the Capital,” Shabelle, March 29, 2013. Available:
“Kismayo Talks Collapse Says Somali Government,” Hiiraan Online, March 29, 2013. Available:
[11] “Somalia to Get Small Arms After U.N. Lifts Embargo,” Reuters, March 28, 2013. Available:
[12] “Kenya Deaths as ‘MRC’ Attacks Malindi Casino,” BBC, March 28, 2013. Available:
[13] “MYC Demands Shabaab Take Action against Omar Hammami,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 29, 2013. Available at SITE.
[14] “IWISC, Jihadist Forums Offer Open Interview with Omar Hammami,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 28, 2013. Available at SITE.
[15] “Kenyans Urged to Stay Calm Over Vote Ruling,” Reuters, March 29, 2013. Available:
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