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: U.S. will not send monitors for Yemeni elections; separatists reject government apology; al Fadhli barred from leaving home

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab bans science and English classes; Islamist rebels and AU forces clash in Mogadishu; clan fighting kills 14 in central Somalia; al Shabaab WFP ban creates greater hunger problem; armed militia kills businessman in Galkayo; French warship arrests eleven suspected pirates

Yemen Security Brief

  • United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said the U.S. will not send observers to Yemen when it holds its parliamentary elections next year. Feltman said Yemeni elections should be administered internally, and should not be tainted by outside interference.[1]

  • A spokesperson for the Southern Movement said the government must do more for the families of the civilians that were killed in an airstrike last year in Abyan. Reports indicate that 50 civilians were killed in the attack, including women and children. The Yemeni government had apologized on Wednesday for the deaths, and pledged economic support to the affected families.[2]

  • Separatist leader Tariq al Fadhli has reportedly been barred from leaving his home in Zinjibar in Abyan province. Security forces surrounded his house Wednesday after his followers were suspected to have attacked an armored vehicle with an RPG.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab has banned English and science classes in schools in Afmadow, near Somalia’s border with Kenya. The ban came after the town refused the group’s call for fighters. Additionally, the Islamist rebels have also banned movies, dancing at weddings, and watching soccer in the areas under its control.[4]

  • New fighting erupted in Mogadishu on Friday between AU security forces and their TFG supporters and Islamist rebels. The clashes occurred following the AU’s move to a new base located inside the former Digfer hospital. At least three people died.[5]

  • Fighting has killed 14 in a dispute between members of the Qubeys clan and Suleyman sub-clan of the Habargardir clan in Amara village in central Somalia. Violence escalated due to an argument over land ownership in the area.[6]

  • Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has accused al Shabaab’s ban on the World Food Program of worsening the hunger epidemic in Somalia. The Islamist group has forbid their presence on the grounds that they are an “anti-Islamic” organization and undermining local Somali farmers.[7]

  • Armed militia members killed a Somali businessman Thursday night in Galkayo. Rage Abdi, the local office manager for Jubba and Dalo airlines, was killed while returning home from evening prayers at a local mosque. The motives of the militia for killing remain unclear.[8]

  • A French warship from the EU’s anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden arrested 11 suspected pirates and destroyed their vessels. The pirates, who were in possession of a rocket launcher, grappling hooks and fuel barriers, had failed to hijack a French vessel.[9]


[1] “U.S. Says Will Not Send Monitors for Next Year’s Elections in Yemen,” Yemen Post, March 5, 2010. Available:
[2] “Apology to Innocent Victims of Yemen Air Strike,” The National, March 5, 2010. Available:
[3] “Yemen Separatist Shot Dead, Southern Tensions Rise,” Reuters, March 4, 2010. Available:
[4] “Somali Islamist Rebels Ban English, Science Classes,” Reuters, March 5, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Fresh Clashes Erupt in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, March 5, 2010. Available: See also:
“Fighting Restarts in Mogadishu,”, March 5, 2010. Available:
[6] “Inter-clan Fighting Kills 14 in Central Somalia,” Reuters, March 5, 2010. Available:
[7] “Somali Leader Says al Shabaab’s WFP Ban Worsens Hunger,” Xinhua, March 5, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Businessman Killed in Galkayo,” Mareeg, March 5, 2010. Available:
[9] “French Warship Detains 11 Suspected Somali Pirates,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, March 5, 2010. Available:
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