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: Attempted assassination on Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister; Justice Minister says no political prisoners in Yemeni jails; analysts say economy poses biggest threat to Yemen

Horn of Africa: Major Hizb al Islam faction splinters from group to fight al Shabaab; Hizb al Islam infighting kills two in Mudug region; death toll from recent Mogadishu fighting now at 25; TFG parliament to reconvene for first time in months; Somali pirates release British tanker after ransom paid

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister for Internal Affairs escaped an assassination attempt Thursday, when gunmen opened fire on his convoy in Shabwah governorate. After a brief exchange of fire, the gunmen fled. No injuries were reported. The official, Sadiq Ameen Abu Ras, was returning from a celebration marking the 20th year of Yemeni unity.[1]
  • Yemeni Justice Minister Ghazi al Aghbari said that there are no political prisoners currently being held by Yemeni authorities. In addition he said there were no special courts in use to try suspects accused of denouncing the government.[2]
  • A rapidly worsening economy poses the largest threat to Yemen, according to analysts. In the first quarter of 2009, government revenue fell by 75% from the previous year due to the international financial crisis. The dip in the economy has forced the government to reduce subsidies, which have in turned increased unrest in an already fractious society.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The largest and best-armed faction of Hizb al Islam splintered from the militant group and expressed its intention to fight al Shabaab independently. Senior members of the Ras Kamboni Brigade formally announced they are withdrawing from Hizb al Islam following allegations that the faction had already secretly allied with the TFG.[4]
  • Infighting between factions of Hizb al Islam killed two and wounded several others in Jowle in the Mudug region.[5]
  • Violence in Mogadishu over the past two days has claimed at least 25 lives and wounded dozens more. The fighting occurred primarily in the Bakara Market and in the city’s northern districts, where TFG forces attempted to capture militant positions.[6]
  • The TFG parliament is set to reconvene for the first time in months after tensions between its top members cooled. All parliamentarians have been called on to attend.[7]
  • Somali pirates released a UK-flagged tanker held since December after receiving a ransom payment.[8]

[1] “Yemeni Deputy PM Survives Killing Attempt in South,” Reuters, May 13, 2010. Available:
[2] “No Political Prisoners and No Exceptional Courts, Says Minister,” Yemen Post, May 13, 2010. Available:
[3] “Yemen: Never Mind Anwar al Awlaki, The Economy Is a Bigger Threat,” The Christian Science Monitor,” May 13, 2010. Available:
[4] “Split rocks Somalia’s insurgent group,” Garowe, May 14, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Two killed in fighting in central town,” Mareeg, May 14, 2010. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Clashes in Mogadishu kill dozens,” Garowe, May 14, 2010. Available:
[7] “Somalia: Speakers says Somali parliament to reopen,” Garowe, May 14, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somali pirates free UK-flagged tanker after ransom paid,” BBC, May 14, 2010. Available:
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