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: Alleged AQAP militant offers advice to Yemeni demonstrators on jihadist forum; two soldiers and one civil servant killed in Mukalla, Hadramawt; protests continue in Aden, Taiz ; GCC, U.S., EU diplomats propose modified GCC transition plan

Horn of Africa: At least two al Shabaab militants killed in clash with Shabelle Valley militia near Beledweyne; at least one al Shabaab militant killed in clash with TFG, Ahlu Sunna troops in Garbaharey; at least six Ahlu Sunna troops were killed al Shabaab clash in Mogadishu; AMISOM officer warns that political instability may pare military gains; al Shabaab spokesman warns Djibouti against sending troops to support AMISOM; TFP Speaker threatens to hold elections without TFG consent; UN WFP reported one aid worker killed in eastern Ethiopia ambush

Yemen Security Brief

  • An alleged al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militant, under the pen name "Mujahid al Yemeni," posted advice to Yemen's demonstrators on a jihadist forum. He urged protestors to arm themselves, saying, "No two reasonable people will disagree that your demand is right and your enemy is wrong, but this truth needs power to protect it and strength to deter this falsehood." He called on demonstrators to shun democracy and be wary of opposition leaders: "The opposition is part of this democratic system, and their concern is assuming positions of dominance in the country...Their attempts to be close to the Americans and steal the fruit of this revolution with foreign initiatives are no secret to you." He added that the internet was the best way for demonstrators to communicate their objectives to wider audiences.[1]
  • At least two soldiers and one civil servant were killed, and one other person was wounded at the Ghayl Ba Wazir checkpoint south of Mukalla in Hadramawt. Local officials report that “suspected Islamist militants” drove up to the checkpoint and opened fire.[2]
  • Security forces in Taiz deployed tanks and plainclothes police during a six-hour power outage in Taiz to forestall demonstration marches to the presidential palace in Taiz. Plainclothes security forces fired into the air at a demonstration in Aden in an attempt to disperse the crowd; witnesses reported that several people were injured.[3]
  • GCC, U.S., and EU diplomats proposed a modified transition plan to members of Yemen's opposition bloc, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP). The proposed modifications include granting the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) the power to appoint a unity government to oversee the transition, as well as changing opposition signatories.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Shabelle Valley administration troops clashed with al Shabaab militants near Beledweyne in the Hiraan region. Two al Shabaab militants were reportedly killed when Shabelle Valley administration troops launched an attack on an al Shabaab base on Ugas Khalif Mountain near Beledweyne.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants clashed with Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama'a troops in Garbaharey. One al Shabaab militant was reportedly killed when al Shabaab militants launched an attack on TFG and Ahlu Sunna positions.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked Ahlu Sunna troops in Mogadishu's Hodan district. At least six Ahlu Sunna troops were killed and 17 others were wounded when al Shabaab militants fired mortars at Ahlu Sunna positions. Two Ahlu Sunna commanders were reportedly killed in the attack.[7]
  • Major Paddy Ankunda, an AMISOM spokesman, reiterated recent AU statements that AMISOM was moving closer towards pushing al Shabaab out of Mogadishu's Bakara district, but warned that political infighting within the TFG threatened to pare recent military successes.[8]
  • Al Shabaab’s spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, warned Djibouti against sending peacekeeping troops to support AMISOM's troops in Mogadishu: "We have already dragged the bodies of invaders like Ugandans and Burundians in the streets of Mogadishu and in case the Djiboutian troops arrive in our land, they will be dealt with in the same manner we have treated the invaders."[9]
  • Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adam threatened to proceed with national elections without the consent of the TFG: "“I call the leader of TFG to accept the election. It is legal and will support the legitimacy of national institutions...I warn there will be rival presidents in the country if the elections are not carried." Adam urged the international community to "assist [the TFP] in holding the election."[10]
  • The UN World Food Program (WFP) reported that one aid worker was killed and two other were wounded in an ambush by unidentified militants in eastern Ethiopia. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) reported that "the Ethiopian (Meles) Army conducted the killing and abduction of UN local staff in the Ogaden jointly with the notorious militia of the Somali Regional administration. Both were conducting kill on sight operations on civilians in the areas of the Fafan valley between Babili and Dhegahbur in the Ogaden." The ONLF asked the UN to launch an investigation into the ambush.[11]

[1] "Alleged AQAP Fighter Advises Yemeni Protestors," SITE Intel Group, May 16, 2011. Available at SITE.
[3] "Yemen opposition to consider modified Gulf deal," Reuters, May 17, 2011. Available:
Mohammed Hatem, "Yemeni Tanks Block Streets in Taiz, Aden Before Planned Protests," Bloomberg May 17, 2011. Available:
[4] "Yemen opposition to consider modified Gulf deal," Reuters, May 17, 2011. Available:
[5] "Central Somalia battle leaves two Al shabaab dead," Shabelle Media Network, May 16, 2011. Available:
[6] "Al shabaab attacks a town in southern Somalia," Shabelle Media Network, May 17, 2011. Available:
[7] Abdi Hajji Hussein, "Six pro-government fighters killed, 17 hurt in Mogadishu mortar attack," AHN, May 16, 2011. Available:
[8] Richard Lough, "AU peacekeepers win territory from Somali rebels," Reuters, May 16, 2011. Available:
[9] Hamsa Omar, "Somalia’s al-Shabaab Militia Warns Djibouti Against Deployment of Troops," Bloomberg, May 16, 2011. Available:
[10] Abdalle Ahmed, "SOMALIA: Parliament speaker- Somalia will see rival presidents if elections are not carried," Raxanreeb, May 17, 2011. Available:
[11] "Statement On Fatal Attack On WFP Staff Members In Ethiopia," UN WFP, May 14, 2011. Available:
"Follow up on the Killing of the WFP staff in the Ogaden," Ogaden National Liberation Front, May 16, 2011. Available:
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