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: Southern Movement rallies on anniversary of announced disengagement; al Beidh gives televised address on Aden Live TV; Southern Movement leaders travel to Beirut; Hadi says military airplane crashes were not accidental; Third Mountain Infantry Brigade temporarily relieved of duty in Ma’rib governorate; shootout at checkpoint in Ma’rib city, Ma’rib governorate; Secretary of State Kerry issues statement to people of Yemen day ahead of National Unity Day

Horn of Africa: Somali jihadist calls on Somali Muslims to kidnap Americans; al Shabaab releases video showing attack on Somali soldiers in Dhobley, Lower Jubba; al Shabaab executes a man in Burdubo, Bay region; al Shabaab militants raid neighborhoods in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; Somali troops shut down Beled Hawo, Gedo region to protest not receiving wages; AMISOM commanders announce ongoing security operations in Mogadishu; Somali prime minister meets with AU representative in Mogadishu; Somali defense minister meets with Sudanese president in Khartoum, Sudan; Somaliland president meets European Union representative in Hargeisa, Woqooyi Galbeed region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Southern Movement protesters staged a rally for secession in Khormaksar neighborhood in Aden on May 21. The protest marked the anniversary of former South Yemen President and former Yemeni Vice President Ali Salem al Beidh’s calling for the secession of South Yemen on March 21, 1994. Protests were also hosted in a number of southern governorates.[1]
  • Former South Yemen President al Beidh delivered a televised statement from Beirut on Aden Live TV on May 21. He criticized southern participants in the National Dialogue, which he termed a “travesty”.[2]
  • A number of Southern Movement leaders traveled to Beirut to meet with former South Yemen President al Beidh on May 21.[3]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Air Force Commander Major General Rashed al Janad have blamed the downing of three military airplanes in 2013 on malevolent actors.[4]
  • President Hadi awarded via presidential decree members of Yemen’s Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) with medals of honor on May 22 for operations in Aden and Lahij.[5]
  • The Defense Ministry committee sent to handle the Third Mountain Infantry Brigade’s crisis in Ma’rib governorate gave the brigade six months’ leave. Most of the soldiers then reportedly sold their weapons, including machine guns, supplies and a technical, in local markets and vacated the governorate on May 21 and 22.[6]
  • One man was killed and two were injured in a shootout at a security checkpoint in Ma’rib city, Ma’rib governorate on May 22.[7]
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement of greetings and congratulations to the Yemeni people on May 21, one day ahead of Yemen’s National Unity Day.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A Somali jihadist called Abu Yaser al Maqdishy released an article on Somali jihadist forums on May 21 that called on Somali Muslims living in the United States and Somalia to kidnap Americans. Al Maqdishy said that American hostages could be used to free convicted Somali terrorists from U.S. prisons.[9]
  • Al Shabaab released a video on May 19 showing an attack on Somali troops in Dhobley, Lower Jubba region. The footage includes shots of dead Somali soldiers.[10]
  • Al Shabaab executed a man in Burdubo, Bay region on May 21 for allegedly spying for the Somali government.[11]
  • Al Shabaab militants raided several neighborhoods in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on May 22. The alleged militants stole property and killed at least five civilians.[12]
  • Somali troops in Beled Hawo, Gedo region have reportedly shut down business and government operations in the area on May 22 to protest not receiving their wages.[13]
  • AMISOM commanders announced on May 21 that they are carrying out ongoing door-to-door searches in Mogadishu in order to flush out criminals and al Shabaab militants.[14]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon met with African Union Representative Mahamat Saleh Annadif in Mogadishu on May 22 to discuss security operations in the country.[15]
  • Somali Defense Minister Abdihakim Mohamud Fiqi met with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al Bashir in Khartoum, Sudan to discuss bilateral relations.[16]
  • Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo met with European Union representative Michele Cervone d’Urso in Hargeisa, Wooqooyi Galbeed region on May 21 to discuss Somaliland-EU relations.[17]     

[1] “Protesters rally for South Yemen independence,” AFP, May 21, 2013. Available:
“Supporters of the Southern Movement organize celebratory rally on the anniversary of al Beidh’s declaration of ‘disengagement’,” al Masdar Online, May 21, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Southern Movement welcomes the 19th anniversary of ‘disengagement’,” al Masdar Online, May 21, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “What al Beidh said in his speech on the 19th anniversary of the disengagement,” Honah Hadhramout, May 21, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Supporters of the Southern Movement organize celebratory rally on the anniversary of al Beidh’s declaration of ‘disengagement’,” al Masdar Online, May 21, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Prominent southern leaders leave Aden to meet with al Beidh in Beirut,” Aden al Ghad, May 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] Nasser Arrabyee, “Al-Qaedas’ air war in Yemen,” The Majalla, May 22, 2013. Available:
[5] “President awards Order of Duty to anti-terrorism team,” Saba News, May 22, 2013. Available:
“Issue of presidential decree awarding medals of courage for national security and duty to 48 officers for their distinction in the counterterrorism task force,” Saba News, May 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Soldiers from the Third Mountain Infantry Brigade leave Ma’rib after plundering weapons and supplies,” Mareb Press, May 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Breaking: One person killed and others injured in fighting at entrance of Ma’rib city,” Barakish, May 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] John Kerry, “Yemen National Unity Day,” U.S. Department of State, May 21, 2013. Available:
[9] “Somali Fighter Suggests Taking Americans Hostage to Free Somalis in US Jails,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 21, 2013. Available at SITE.
[10] “Shabaab Video Shows Clash with Somali Soldiers in Dhobley,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 21, 2013. Available at SITE.
[11] “Al Shabaab Reportedly Killed a Man in Burdhubo,” Bar Kulan, May 21, 2013. Available:
[12] “Al Shabaab Radis Areas Near Beledweyne, Killing Civilians,” Bar Kulan, May 22, 2013. Available:
[13] “Troops on Go Slow Close Beled Hawa,” Bar Kulan, May 22, 2013. Available:
[14] “AMISOM Spokesman Talks About the Recent Operations in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, May 21, 2013. Available:
[15] “Somali PM Meets AU Envoy in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, May 22, 2013. Available:
[16] “Somali Defense Minister Meets Sudanese President in Khartoum,” Bar Kulan, May 22, 2013. Available:
[17] “Somaliland Leader Hosts EU Special Envoy to Somalia in Hargeisa,” May 21, 2013. Available:
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