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: Al Malahem Media Foundation releases eulogy for AQAP shari’a official Abu Zubair Adil al Abab; gunmen blow up oil pipeline in Sirwah, Ma’rib governorate; President Hadi meets with Technical Committee to prepare for the National Dialogue; security official confirms President Hadi refused to broker truce with AQAP; al Houthi gunmen kill two at checkpoint in Brit al ‘Anan, al Jawf governorate; tribal gunmen exchange fire near Sana’a International Airport road; Southern Movement declares day of civil disobedience in southern cities; gunmen clash in Hawdh al Ishraf, Taiz; Somalis arrested with weapons on a boat in Qalnasiya, Socotra

Horn of Africa: UN Security Council partially lifts arms embargo and renews AMISOM mission in Somalia; Kenyan ballot counting reaches second day and tensions grow; grenade attack occurs in Eastleigh, Nairobi; grenade attack targets radio station in Baidoa, Bay region; Somali forces arrest six suspected al Shabaab militants in Beled Hawo, Gedo region; Puntland court sentences three al Shabaab members to death; AMISOM marks its sixth anniversary

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Malahem Media Foundation released a eulogy for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) shari’a official Abu Zubair Adil al Abab on jihadist forums on March 5. The video features AQAP figures Ibrahim al Rubaish and Harith al Nadhari speaking about al Abab, who was killed in an airstrike on October 4, 2012, as well as posthumous clips of Anwar al Awlaki.[1]
  • Unknown gunmen blew up an oil pipeline at the Kilo 93 point in Sirwah, Ma’rib governorate on March 5. Two soldiers were wounded during clashes that took place during the pipeline’s repair on March 6.[2]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with the Technical Committee to prepare for the National Dialogue in Sana’a on March 5. During the meeting, he expressed his optimism about the Southern Movement’s participation in the National Dialogue, and expressed regret for recent violence in the south.[3]
  • President Hadi refused to broker a truce with AQAP until the group agreed to publicly renounce violence and apologize for the harm to the Yemeni state before entering negotiations, according to a security source in the Yemen Post on March 6.[4]
  • Al Houthi gunmen fired on individuals at an al Houthi-manned checkpoint in Brit al ‘Anan, al Jawf governorate, near the Saudi-Yemeni border, killing two and wounding three on March 4.[5]
  • Tribal gunmen exchanged fire near the road to Sana’a International Airport and Yemeni Air Force Headquarters in Sana’a on March 6, in a dispute involving land belonging to the Yemeni Ministry of Agriculture.[6]
  • Activists from the Southern Movement and the southern-affiliated “February 16 Youth Movement” announced a day of civil disobedience on March 6 in Aden and other cities in southern Yemen.[7]
  • Gunmen clashed in Hawdh al Ishraf, near the Taiz government building, on March 4. One group of gunmen was led by a man named Mohammed Abdullah Ali Lutf, and one individual was killed and two wounded in the incident.[8]
  • Seventeen Somalis were arrested on board a boat entering the island of Qalnasiya, part of the Socotra archipelago, on March 5. A number of automatic weapons were found on board the boat.[9]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on March 6 partially lifting the arms embargo on Somalia. The resolution allows the government to purchase light weapons, while retaining the ban on surface-to-air missiles, large-caliber guns, and other heavy weaponry. The resolution also renewed the African Union Mission in Somalia’s (AMISOM) mandate for one year.[10]
  • Faulty electronic ballot counters caused election returns in Kenya to trickle in slowly, and worries about election tampering were growing on March 6, two days after the election. Early front-runner Uhuru Kenyatta is blaming British interests for including rejected ballots, making it harder for Kenyatta to win the 50% majority needed to claim victory. If neither Kenyatta nor opponent Raila Ondinga wins 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held in April.[11]
  • One, possibly two, blasts were reported in Eastleigh, Nairobi on March 5. A grenade was thrown into a kiosk, injuring a woman inside.[12]
  • A grenade attack targeted a radio station in Baidoa, Bay region on March 1. No injuries have been reported. Somali police arrested three men in connection with the attack.[13]
  • Somali forces arrested six suspected al Shabaab militants in Beled Hawo, Gedo region on March 5.[14]
  • A Puntland court sentenced three al Shabaab members to death in Garowe, Nugaal region on March 5. The three men were caught in the Golis Mountains and admitted to being members of the terrorist organization.[15]
  • AMISOM reached its sixth anniversary on March 6. Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission for Somalia Mahamat Annadif thanked the soldiers for their efforts and the Somali people for supporting them.[16]

[1]“AQAP Releases Video Eulogy for Slain Scholar 'Adil al-'Abab,” SITE Intel Group, March 5, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] “Oil Pipeline in Sirwah, Ma’rib Sabotaged,” 26 September, March 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Breaking: Two Soldiers Wounded During Repair of Damaged Pipeline in Sirwah,” March 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3]“President Hadi Holds Islah Party and al Beidh Responsible for 21 February Events in Aden,” Barakish Net, March 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “No Truce with al Qaeda Says Yemeni President,” Yemen Post, March 6, 2013. Available:
[5] “Two Killed by al Houthi Gunmen in al Jawf,” al Masdar Online, March 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Clashes Between Tribal Militants in a Dispute Over Land Belonging to the State Near Air Force Headquarters in Sana’a,” al Masdar Online, March 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Southern Movement Announces Civil Disobedience Today,” Barakish Net, March 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Taiz: One Killed and Two Wounded in Armed Clashes, and al Qaeda Repositions in the Governorate,” Mareb Press, March 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Socotra: 17 Somalis Suspected of Piracy Detained,” Mareb Press, March 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[10] Michelle Nichols, “U.N. partially lifts arms embargo on Somalia for a year,” Reuters, March 6, 2013. Available:
[11] “Snags in Vote Tabulation Spur Anxiety in Kenya,” NY Times, March 6, 2013. Available:
“Kenya: Counting of Ballots Begins After Electronic System Fails, Charge Levied Against UK,” AP, March 6, 2013. Available:
[12] “Two Blasts in Somali Area of Nairobi: Red Cross,” AFP, March 6, 2013. Available:
[13] “3 Arrested Over Baidoa Radio Station Attack,” Sabahi Online, March 5, 2013. Available:
[14] “Suspected Militants Arrested in BeledHawo,” Bar Kulan, March 6, 2013. Available:
[15] “Somalia: Puntland Sentences More al Shabaab Agents to Death,” Garowe Online, March 5, 2013. Available:
[16] “Somalia AU Special Representative Pays Tribute on AMISOM’s 6th Anniversary,” Horseed Media, March 6, 2013. Available:
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