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: Tribesmen and Yemeni security forces clash around Hashid tribal leader’s home and Interior Ministry; EU releases statement condemning Saleh’s refusal to sign GCC’s transition plan; U.S. Embassy in Yemen closes for two days; U.S. Secretary of State calls on Saleh to sign GCC’s transition plan; U.S. State Department spokesman says U.S. “looking at a number of different options” should Saleh refuse

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants clash with pro-government militia near Beledweyne in Hiraan region; AMISOM and TFG clash with al Shabaab militants kill at least one civilian in Mogadishu; Ras Kamboni troops attack al Shabaab militants near Dhobley; al Shabaab spokesman urges Bakara businessmen to resist AMISOM and TFG troops; AMISOM announces four al Shabaab militants defect

Yemen Security Brief

  • At least six people were killed and forty others were wounded in Sana'a on May 23. Hashid tribesmen accused Yemeni security forces of attempting to storm Sadiq al Ahmar’s home and said that tribal forces launched a counterattack. Hashid tribesmen captured the Interior Ministry and fired from there on SABA News headquarters, where Yemeni security forces had taken up position. On May 24, an armored military vehicle fired at tribesmen outside al Ahmar's home, killing five tribal militants and wounding six others. The Yemeni defense ministry released a statement that said, “The al-Ahmar sons and their gang turned on the mediation and fired rockets and bullets heavily on government installations and citizens’ homes.”[1]
  • The European Union released a statement that said: "The EU condemns President Saleh’s repeated failure to sign up to the GCC sponsored initiative...The EU calls on President Saleh to follow through on his commitment to transfer power now. The EU deplores the failure by President Saleh and the Yemeni security forces to ensure safe passage of diplomats from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Sana’a on 22 May...All use of violence against peaceful protesters must stop immediately...The Council and the EU Member States will review their policies towards Yemen and prepare their response to developments accordingly."[2]
  • The U.S. Embassy in Yemen announced that "due to the fluid security situation in the city, the Consular Section is closed to the public for Tuesday and Wednesday, May 24 and May 25, 2011, and will be providing emergency American citizen services only."[3]
  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a press conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, "In Yemen, we are dismayed that President Saleh continues his refusal to sign the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative which would help resolve the political challenges facing Yemen today...President Saleh has agreed on multiple occasions to sign it. We urge President Saleh to immediately follow through on his repeated commitments to peacefully transfer power. This is critical for the peace and security that the Yemeni people are seeking."[4]
  • U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, “The GCC issued a statement on May 22nd that they’ve suspended their mediation efforts. But we believe that President Saleh still has the ability and the opportunity to sign this initiative and break this deadlock.” He added that the U.S. is  "looking at a number of different options” if Saleh refuses to sign the agreement.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Shabelle Valley administration troops clashed with al Shabaab militants three kilometers north of Beledweyne in the Hiraan region. Mohammed Nur Aga-jof, the Shabelle Valley information minister, reported that two Shabelle Valley soldiers were killed. Aga-jof added that Shabelle Valley soldiers had captured al Shabaab fighters as well as parts of Beledweyne city.[6]
  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and AMISOM troops continued to fight al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu. One civilian was killed and five others were wounded near Bakara Market in Mogadishu's Hodan district. Al Shabaab issued a statement claiming to have killed the TFG force commander in Hodan and Hawl Wadag districts.[7]
  • Ras Kamboni fighters clashed with al Shabaab militants in Haawina, forty kilometers east of Dhobley in Lower Jubba region. No casualties have been reported. Raskambooni militia spokesman Abdinasir Seyrar announced that Raskambooni troops intend to rout al Shabaab in the Lower and Middle Jubba regions.[8]
  • Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, a senior al Shabaab official, urged businessmen in Mogadishu's Bakara Market to aid al Shabaab in resisting AMISOM and TFG troops. This comes amid AMISOM and TFG troops' advances into Bakara Market.[9]
  • AMISOM troops announced that four former al Shabaab militants, ranging in age from 10 to 15 years old, defected to AMISOM.[10]

[1] Ahmed al Haj, "Yemen gunbattles erupt after Saleh refuses exit," AP, May 23, 2011. Available:
Mohammed Ghobari and Mohamed Sudam, "Heavy clashes erupt in Yemen capital, 4 dead," Reuters, May 24, 2011. Available:
Hammoud Mounassar, "Shelling kills five tribesmen in Yemen's capital," AFP, May 24, 2011. Available:
[2] “Council conclusions on Yemen," Council of the European Union, May 23, 2011. Available:
[3] "U.S. embassy in Yemen shuts consulate due to unrest," Reuters, May 23, 2011. Available:
[4] Hillary Clinton and William Hague, "Remarks With British Foreign Secretary William Hague," U.S. Department of State, May 23, 2011. Available:
[5] Mark Toner, "Daily Press Briefing," U.S. Department of State, May 23, 2011. Available:
[6] "Al shabaab, Shabelle Valley fighters clash in central Somalia," Shabelle Media Network, May 24, 2011. Available:
"Violence takes place in Beled-weyne," Mareeg Online, May 24, 2011. Available:
[7] "Sporadic fighting breaks out in Somali capital, al-shabab claims victory," Mareeg Online, May 24, 2011. Available:
[8] "Somalia: Raskambooni group threatens Al shabaab," Shabelle Media Network, May 23, 2011. Available:
[9] "Al shabaab official: Businessmen must take their guns against TFG," Shabelle Media Network, May 23, 2011. Available:
[10] "AMISOM displays surrendered al-shabab militias in Mogadishu, casualties rise," Mareeg Online, May 23, 2011. Available:
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