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: Yemen and Jordan discuss anti-terror cooperation; Yemeni soldiers and al Houthi rebels fight for first time since truce; al Houthis ambush government security convoy in Sana’a; Yemeni police officer dies from bomb wounds; tribesmen in Ma’rib attack power station
Horn of Africa: UN refugee agency calls for more help to Somali refugees; critics demand resignation of UN Somalia envoy; AMISOM denies role in mosque bombing; American-born militant, Abu Mansour al Amriki, releases recruitment video; Christian killed by militants in Harardheere; Somali ambassador backs Russia on international pirate tribunal; pirates release ship after receiving ransom payment; pirates set adrift by Russian presumed dead; Hizb al Islam rejects UN-backed anti-piracy efforts; man flogged in Beledweyne for rape by al Shabaab administration
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh discussed security cooperation with Jordanian King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Samir Rifai in Amman on Monday. The two delegations discussed increasing anti-terrorism cooperation. Both countries have been the victim of al Qaeda attacks in recent years.
- Fighting erupted between al Houthi rebels and Yemeni security forces after al Houthis blocked a major road in Amran governorate. The fighting marked the first major conflict between the two sides since a truce was agreed to three months ago. Two government soldiers and an unspecified number of rebels were killed in the clash.
- Gunmen from the al Houthi rebels opened fire on a security convoy in Sana’a on Tuesday. The convoy was transporting Faris Mana, a prisoner convicted of dealing arms to the al Houthis. One bystander was killed in the shooting.
- A police officer died from his wounds after yesterday’s bombing in al Towahi Park in Aden. A general in Yemeni security forces, Abdullah al Thuraya, had previously died from wounds sustained in the bombing. Another police officer is still receiving treatment for his injuries in a hospital in Aden. The policemen were wounded while trying to defuse the bombs.
- Tribesmen attacked a power station in Ma’rib governorate cutting power lines, and causing areas of Sana’a to black out for several hours on Monday. It is unclear why the tribesmen attacked the power station.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The UN refugee agency called on international governments to relax refugee restrictions for people fleeing violence in southern and central Somalia. The spokeswoman for the agency cited the deteriorating conditions in the region for the change in policy.
- Somali government officials and legislators called for the resignation of the UN envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, claiming his presence has not helped, and may have even worsened the situation there. They say he continues to back a weak government without attempting to seek inclusion from all parties.
- A spokesman for AMISOM denied that it was responsible for the mosque bombing in Mogadishu last week that killed at least 32. This was a response to allegations from Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Shongole, a leading member of al-Shabaab, who was injured in the attack.
- An American-born al Shabaab commander, Abu Mansour al Amriki, released a propaganda video on jihadist forums. The video, titled “First Stop Addis,” is in English and is aimed at recruiting westerners by promoting martyrdom. It features other English-speakers, said to be from North America.
- Militants from al Shabaab killed a suspected Christian, Yusuf Ali Nur, after taking the town of Harardheere from rival group Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a. Anonymous eyewitness sources said militants executed him shortly after they discovered him.
- The Somali ambassador to Russia backed a Russian initiative to establish an international tribunal for piracy. He also defended Russia’s actions on setting adrift the pirates that seized a Russian tanker last week, citing the lack of an international institution to legally deal with them.
- Somali pirates released a Bermuda-flagged cargo ship after they received the ransom payment. They seized the ship two months ago off the coast of Oman. Also, the pirates set adrift by the Russian navy last week never made it ashore and are presumed dead.
- The militant group Hizb al Islam rejected the UN-backed anti-piracy effort in a statement, citing a negative effect on Somalia’s fishing industry.
- Al Shabaab militants executed a sentence of 100 lashes on a man convicted of raping a girl in Beledweyne, a town in central Somalia.