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 military plane makes emergency landing in Hadramawt; gunmen killed colonel in al Bayda; security forces clash with tribesmen in south Sana’a; UN preparing mission to al Dhaleh; reported airstrike kills three people in Ma’rib
Horn of Africa: car bomb targets Interim Jubba Administration security chief in Lower Jubba region; explosions target AMISOM and Somali government forces in Mogadishu; Uganda contributes additional troops to AMISOM; al Shabaab attacks Somali National Army base in Hiraan region; newly appointed mayor of Mogadishu granted increased authority over security; al Shabaab seeks to extort money from locals in Galgudud region
Yemen Security Brief
- A Yemeni military plane, an Antonov-26 twin-engine turboprop, made an emergency landing in Hadramawt’s desert on March 2. The plane was delivering supplies to the Masila oilfields from Sana’a, according to General Khalid al Kothairi. There are reports that armed tribesmen abducted the six crew members when they landed and that negotiations for their release are underway.
- Gunmen ambushed a Yemeni colonel on March 2 traveling outside of Rada’a in al Bayda governorate. The Colonel Nasser al Rada’i, director of the Criminal Investigation Directorate, was killed and his guard injured in the attack.
- Yemeni security forces and armed tribesmen clashed in the south of Sana’a city on March 2. The tribesmen attempted to enter the city with weapons. There is a restriction in place in the capital. At least two tribesmen were killed and three soldiers were injured.
- The UN is preparing a mission to al Dhaleh in order to assess the conditions of the citizens following reports of serious human rights violations in the area. Troops from the 33rd Armored Brigade and militants fighting for southern secession have been fighting in the governorate.
- A reported U.S. airstrike in al Shabwan area in Ma’rib governorate killed a suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militant, Mujahid Jabir al Shabwani, along with two others on March 3.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- A car bomb targeted recently appointed Interim Jubba Administration security chief Ahmed Ibrahim, known as Niinille, in Kismayo in Lower Jubba region on March 1. The explosion killed three and wounded five, including member of Ibrahim’s staff. Ibrahim was not aboard the vehicle and escaped injury. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.
- An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near Somali government troops in the Yaqshid district of Mogadishu on March 2. The blast wrecked a Somali government vehicle and prompted Somali soldiers to open fire indiscriminately, reportedly injuring nearby civilians. Separately, an IED blast targeted an AMISOM convoy in Mogadishu’s Heliwa district on March 2. Although reports indicate the blast inflicted casualties, exact figures remain unclear. No group has claimed responsibility for either incident.
- The Ugandan military announced the contribution of 410 additional troops to AMISOM on March 2. The new troops, adding to as many as 6,000 Ugandan soldiers currently operating in Somalia, are intended to enhance security by guarding UN facilities.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base near Beledweyne in Hiraan region on March 2. Although the confrontation featured heavy exchanges of gunfire, the SNA commander in the region, Colonel Mohamed Amin, claimed no Somali soldiers were injured, adding that al Shabaab suffered significant casualties.
- Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s February 27 presidential decree appointed Hassan Mohamed Hussein, known as Mungab, mayor of Mogadishu and granted Hussein authority over all security matters within the capital. As a result of the decree, Hussein controls the Mogadishu office of the Somali National Security Agency and the city’s police command. Separately, security operations were conducted in the Hodan, Yaqshid, and Heliwa districts of Mogadishu on March 3. At least 24 individuals were detained during the security operations due to suspected links to al Shabaab.
- The leader of al Shabaab in Galgudud region, Hassan Yakub Ali, ordered community leaders in El Der to enforce a command for local residents to contribute money to al Shabaab. The militants seek to extort 100,000 U.S. dollars to support al Shabaab’s imminent conflict with Ethiopian forces in the region.