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: Landmine in Aden kills one; gunmen occupy schools in Sa’ada; Saudis to maintain troops near Yemen border to deter al Houthis
Horn of Africa: 10 killed in Mogadishu fighting, former mayor survives bomb attempt; Hizb al Islam announces creation of new provincial authority; Ethiopia appeals for more aid to accommodate Somali refugees; UN food agency will alter distribution system in Somalia; floods, fears of conflict displace thousands in Hiraan; ONLF commander denies death in Ethiopia
Yemen Security Brief
- A landmine in Aden killed one man and seriously wounded three others when it exploded on Wednesday. The mine, believed to be a relic of the 1994 Yemeni civil war detonated as the men tried to remove a piece of scrap metal from a dump in the al Bukairah district of the city.
- Gunmen from both the al Houthi rebel group and pro-government militias have seized schools in Sa’ada, according to UNICEF. Seizing schools was common tactic by both sides in the prior six conflicts between the northern rebels and pro-government forces.
- Saudi Arabia plans to maintain to the troops along its border. Over 3,000 soldiers will be joined by Saudi National Guard and forces from the Interior Ministry. The al Houthis captured several villages inside of Saudi Arabia last fall during fighting with the Yemeni government.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Wednesday’s fighting in Mogadishu district between TFG and militant forces killed at least 10 and wounded 25 others. Government soldiers attacked multiple Hizb al Islam bases, but a Hizb al Islam spokesman claimed the group managed to hold their positions. Mohamed Dhere, the former mayor of Mogadishu, survived a roadside bomb that killed at least one and wounded several others. He blamed al Shabaab for the attack.
- Hizb al Islam announced Wednesday that is establishing a government in Somalia’s central Mudug region. Puntland, Galmudug, Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a, and Himan and Heb already have administrations established in the region.
- Ethiopia appealed for an additional 13 million dollars to help it accommodate a growing refugee influx from Somalia. It expects 25,000 more Somali refugees to cross its border this year, and said without additional funding it would have to cut food rations by June.
- The World Food Program will change its distribution system in response to a UN Security Council report claiming half of Somalia’s 485 million dollars in food aid was diverted from its intended recipients.
- Floods in the Hiraan region the past few days have displaced thousands of Somalis, particularly in Beledweyne, after heavy rains swelled the Shabelle River. Sources also say fear of imminent conflict has spurred an exodus of residents in spite of a travel ban by Hizb al Islam.
- The deputy commander of Ethiopia’s Ogaden National Liberation Front, Abdikarin Sheikh Muse, denied reports that Ethiopian security forces killed him in a recent raid.