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: Gunmen cut off Zubairy Street in Sana’a and surround Sabafon headquarters; Southern Movement leadership to meet with UN officials in Dubai; Yemeni court overturns ruling to freeze Yahya Saleh’s and Abdul Malik al Tayeb’s assets; Dr. Mohammed Mohammed al Shuaibi appointed acting president of University of Taiz; gunmen clash on Mt. Sabir, Taiz governorate; two Yemeni officers from 119th Infantry Brigade found dead; Yemeni foreign minister asks Lebanese government to shut down Aden Live TV

Horn of Africa: Accidental explosion kills ten al Shabaab militants in Bulo Burto, Bay region; Somali troops stationed in Elwaq deployed to Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; unknown gunmen shoot and kill a civilian in Nasteho neighborhood, Mogadishu; Somali president meets with Qatari Emir in Qatar; Somali prime minster travels to Dhusamareb, Galgudud region; Amnesty International urges UN Security Council to not the lift arms embargo on Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • Gunmen cut off Zubairy Street in Sana’a and besieged the headquarters of Sabafon, a company owned by Hamid al Ahmar, on March 5. Some of the gunmen were guards for the company and attacked the building to protest a pay cut, according to Mareb Press.[1]
  • Southern Movement leaders will meet with UN officials, including the advisor to the UN secretary-general as well as UN Envoy Jamal Benomar, in Dubai on March 25 to discuss Southern Movement participation in the Yemeni National Dialogue conference. Among those expected to attend are former Yemeni Vice President Ali Salem al Beidh.[2]
  • A Yemeni court overturned a ruling that froze the assets of Yahya Abdullah Saleh and Abdul Malik al Tayeb and prevented them from traveling outside the country on March 5.[3]
  • Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa appointed Dr. Mohammed Mohammed al Shuaibi acting president of the University of Taiz on March 4.[4]
  • Gunmen from the Marzawj and Qaradha regions of Mt. Sabir, Taiz governorate clashed on March 3 when Qaradha gunmen seized and destroyed a water tank from the Marzawj area.[5]
  • Two Yemeni Army officers from the 119th Infantry Brigade, Colonel Abdullah Manhaz and another unnamed officer, were found dead in Jaar, Abyan on March 4. Reports have cited heart disease as the possible cause of death; authorities will conduct autopsies to confirm this diagnosis.[6]
  • Yemeni Foreign Minister Dr. Abu Bakr al Qirbi has asked the Lebanese foreign minister to shut down the television channel Aden Live TV, according to a March 5 report in Barakish Net.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A bomb accidentally detonated inside an al Shabaab hideout and killed at least ten militants in Bulo Burto, Bay region on March 4. It is suspected that the men were working on an improvised explosive device (IED) when the explosion occurred.[8]
  • Somali troops who recently finished their training in Kenya and were stationed in Elwaq, Gedo region are now being deployed to Kismayo, Lower Jubba region in order to increase security in the area.[9]
  • Unknown gunmen shot and killed a woman in the Nasteho neighborhood of Mogadishu on March 3. The shooters were able to flee the scene and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[10]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in Qatar on March 4. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and President Mohamud said that Qatar will help Somalia reach a lasting peace.[11]
  • Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon traveled to Dhusamareb, Galgudud region on March 4 to discuss future public works projects in the area.[12]
  • Amnesty International urged the United Nations Security Council to not lift the Somali arms ban on March 4; they claim arms sales in the country with only worsen the humanitarian crisis.[13]        

[1] “Gunmen Surround Sabafon Headquarters and Close its Doors and Fire,” Mareb Press, March 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Expected Meeting Includes Exiled Southern Opposition and Jamal Benomar in Dubai,” al Masdar Online, March 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Sana’a Court Overturns Decision to Freeze Yahya al Saleh’s and Abdul Malik al Tayeb’s Funds,” al Masdar Online, March 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Prime Minister Issues a Decision Appointing al Shuaibi Acting President of the University of Taiz,” Saba Net, March 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Imminent War in Taiz and Local Officials Accused of Being Soft,” al Masdar Online, March 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Abyan: Bodies of Two 119th Brigade Officers Found Under Mysterious Circumstances,” Barakish Net, March 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Yemeni Government Demands Lebanon Quickly Shut Down Aden Live,” Barakish Net, March 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Ten Alleged Militants Killed in Bula-Burte Explosion,” Bar Kulan, March 5, 2013. Available:
[9] “Troops from Elwak Town Directed to Kismayu City,” Kulmiye News, March 4, 2013. Available:
[10] “Another Woman Killed in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, March 4, 2013. Available:
[11] “President Mahmud Meets Qatari Emir,” Bar Kulan, March 5, 2013. Available:
[12] “PM Shirdon Meets Galgudud Leaders, Promises Government Services,” Bar Kulan, March 4, 2013. Available:
[13] “Rights Group Urges U.N. Not to Lift Somalia Arms Embargo,” Reuters, March 4, 2013. Available:"
Somalia: U.N. Arms Embargo Must Stay in Place," Amnesty International, March 4, 2013. Available: 
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