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: AQAP asks Muslims to help detainees in Yemeni government prisons; symposium on judicial reform is held in Sana’a; Yemeni government signs agreement with Qatari charity in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Marehan tribe leader says he is the legitimate president of Jubbaland; car bombing kills Galgudud elder in Hodan district, Mogadishu; Somali forces arrest six suspected militants following a bombing in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle; unknown gunmen kill elder near Gelinsor and Adado, Galgudud region; highway robbers ambush mini-bus between Mogadishu and Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region; Kenyan president convenes security meeting in Nairobi, Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) asked Yemeni Muslims to provide assistance to people unjustly detained by the Yemeni government, specifically those waging a hunger strike. In a statement given to a reporter, and posted to the reporter’s Facebook on May 15, AQAP accused the Yemeni government of torturing and holding detainees with no affiliation to the group.[1]
  • A symposium to inform policymakers on the best ways to implement effective judicial reform in the new constitution was held in Sana’a on May 15.[2]
  • The Yemeni government signed an agreement with a Qatari charity in Sana’a on May 15 that will give $1.4 million to humanitarian projects in Yemen.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Marehan tribe leader Barre Aden Shire declared that he, not Ras Kamboni and Ogandeni tribe leader Ahmed Madobe, was elected president of Jubbaland in Kismayo, Lower Jubba on May 15. According to Shire, there were two separate committees voting, and the legitimate committee elected him president. Madobe, who first announced his presidency on May 15, is allied with Kenyan forces in the area. Several politicians and elders from the Jubbaland convention rejected Madobe’s claim to the presidency. Many residents have evacuated the city for fear of clan fighting.[4]
  • The May 15 car bombing that targeted Abdi Liman Sharmake killed Galgudud elder and former Somali military officer Artan Sheikhdon Osman.[5]
  • Somali forces arrested six suspected militants who are allegedly behind an explosion in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on May 15. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[6]
  • Unknown gunmen shot and killed a clan elder near Gelinsor and Adado, Galgudud region on May 15.[7]
  • Men dressed in Somali Army uniforms robbed a mini-bus traveling between Mogadishu and Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region on May 15. The robbers stole money and gold and tortured the passengers.[8]
  • Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta convened top security personnel in Nairobi, Kenya on May 16 to hold an emergency meeting about rising security concerns in the country. Kenyatta called for the meeting after a wave of violent crimes erupted, including two separate incidents in which a government official and two police officers were killed in Nairobi on May 13.[9]       

[1] AQAP Calls for Support to Detainees on Hunger Strike in Yemen,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 15, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] “Symposium on Judicial Reform in the New Constitution,” Saba News, May 15, 2013. Available:
[3] “Qatar Charity Implements $1.4 mil Projects in Yemen,” Saba News, May 15, 2013. Available:
[4] “Bare Hirale Claims to be the Official Jubbaland President,” Bar Kulan, May 16, 2013. Available:
“Two Claim to be Jubaland’s ‘President,’” AFP, May 16, 2013. Available:
“MPs and Politicians Residing from Juba Region and Gedo Oppose Madobe’s Self Declaration,” Shabelle, May 16, 2013. Available:
“War Feared to Erupt in Kismayu after the Announcement of Two Different Presidents for the Region,” Shabelle, May 16, 2013. Available:
[5] “Somalia: bomb Explosion Kills Former Military Officer, Famous Politician Wounded,” Raxanreeb, May 15, 2013. Available:
[6] “Six Alleged Militants Arrested in Jowhar,” Bar Kulan, May 16, 2013. Available:
[7] “Prominent Elder Killed in Galgudud Region,” Radio Mustaqbal, May 15, 2013. Available:
[8] Armed Group Robbed Civilians at Afgoi Corridor,” Mustaqbal Radio, May 15, 2013. Available:
[9] “President Uhuru Kenyatta to Chair Crisis Meeting Over Increased Insecurity,” Daily Standard, May 15, 2013. Available:
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