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: Senator McCain visits Sana’a; gunmen attempt to rob Central Bank vehicle in al Mukalla, Hadramawt; roadside bomb targets Central Security Forces in al Mukalla, Hadramawt; security forces end protest against Sana’a security director; South African officials travel to Yemen to secure captives’ release; soldiers at military academy in Sana’a protest corruption; gunmen prevent men from repairing electrical lines in Ma’rib; Kuwait grants $85 million for development in south Yemen; clashes at checkpoint north of Sana’a kill one; deadly tribal conflict occurs in Shabwah governorate; mine is defused in Karsh between Aden and Taiz governorates

Horn of Africa: U.S. drone crashes outside Bulo Mareer, Lower Shabelle region, al Shabaab posts pictures; al Shabaab official calls on Mukhtar Abu Zubair to stand trial; Somali troops conduct security operations in Hamar Jajab, Mogadishu; Somali and AMISOM troops conduct security operations along Mogadishu-Baidoa road; unknown gunmen kill family of seven outside Kalabeyr, Mudug region; Somali members of parliament drawing motion to condemn Kenyan Army in Kismayo; local councilor kills one in Hargeisa, Wooqooyi Galbeed region; Kenyan police double Somali border security personnel; Somali prime minister speaks at investors’ conference in Nairobi, Kenya; Somali parliament speaker meets with United Nations delegation in Mogadishu, Somalia; Kenyan police accused of human rights violations in Nairobi, Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • Senator John McCain (R-AZ) traveled to Sana’a and met with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi on May 28 during an unannounced trip to the Middle East.[1]
  • Gunmen unsuccessfully attempted to rob a Yemeni Central Bank car transporting money in al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate on May 29.[2]
  • A roadside bomb detonated in the al Wuqa’a neighborhood of al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate as a Central Security Forces convoy passed on May 29.[3]
  • Security forces in Sana’a ended a days-long protest against Sana’a Security Director Dr. Amr Abdul Karim on May 28.[4]
  • Representatives of the South African government, including Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sadiq Jaffer, traveled to Yemen on May 28 and 29 to secure the release of Pierre and Yolande Korkie, South African citizens kidnapped in Taiz on May 27.[5]
  • Soldiers and officers at the high military academy in Sana’a protested over corrupt officials in the institute on May 29.[6]
  • Armed men prevented repair crews from fixing damage to electrical lines in al Damashqa, Ma’rib on May 28 and 29.[7]
  • Yemeni Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Mohammed al Sa’adi and director of the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development signed an agreement on May 28 granting Yemen $85 million dollars for reconstruction in southern Yemen.[8]
  • Clashes erupted between armed men in an unmarked car trying to pass a checkpoint and police officers in the Dares area north of Sana’a on May 29. At least one officer was reported killed and several wounded.[9]
  • The Al Ba Ma’bad and Al Saliman tribes fought over a tribal revenge matter in al Ayn Bir Ali in Rudum district, Shabwah governorate around May 29. One was killed and one injured during the conflict.[10]
  • Security forces defused an anti-tank mine in Karsh, along the Aden-Taiz road, on May 29.[11]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A U.S. drone crashed outside of Bulo Mareer, Lower Shabelle region on May 28. The reason for the crash is unconfirmed, though a local resident said that al Shabaab shot down the drone. Al Shabaab militants recovered the wreckage. The group posted pictures of it to its Twitter page.[12]
  • The Islamic World Issues Study Center posted a message to jihadist forums on May 24 from the self-proclaimed head of al Shabaab’s Arbitration Court, Zubeir al Muhajir. Muhajir said that al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Abu Zubair should present himself to the court to be judged for his persecution of Omar Hammami and four other foreign fighters.[13]
  • Somali troops conducted security operations in Hamar Jajab district, Mogadishu on May 29. At least 30 people were arrested in the crackdown, but several were released shortly after.[14]
  • Somali and AMISOM troops conducted security operations along the road linking Mogadishu and Baidoa on May 29. Somali and AMISOM forces arrested people dressed in army uniforms who were robbing travelers along the road.[15]
  • Unknown gunmen shot and killed a family of seven outside Kalabeyr, Mudug region on May 28. All of the attackers escaped and the reason behind the attack is not known.[16]
  • Somali ministers of parliament are putting together a motion that will condemn the Kenyan Army’s actions in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region. The ministers are accusing the Kenyan Army of interfering in the Jubbaland political process.[17]
  • A member of the Hargeisa Local Council shot and killed a man in Hargeisa, Wooqooyi Galbeed region on May 29. The councilor was arrested and an investigation is underway.[18]
  • Kenyan police doubled personnel along the Kenyan-Somali border on May 26 following the May 25 coordinated al Shabaab attack on Garissa, Kenya.[19]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon spoke at a two-day Somali investors’ conference in Nairobi, Kenya on May 29. Shirdon welcomed potential investors and praised Somalia’s economic growth.[20]
  • Somali Speaker of Parliament Osman Jawahiri met with a United Nations delegation in Mogadishu on May 29.[21]
  • Human Rights Watch released a report describing human rights abuses carried out by Kenyan police in Nairobi between November 2012 and January 2013. At least 1,000 Somali refugees were beaten, tortured and raped during that time period.[22]   

[1] Donna Cassata, “McCain pleads for greater US aid to rebels during unannounced trip to Syria, visits Yemen,” Associated Press, May 28, 2013. Available:
“US Senator John McCain leaves Sana’a,” Saba News, May 29, 2013. Available:
[2] “Eyewitnesses: Clashes between bank guards in Hadramawt and armed men attempting to board car carrying cash,” al Masdar Online, May 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Explosion of IED in al Mukalla suburb while Central Security Forces patrol passing,” Barakish Net, May 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Source: End of insurrection of soldiers against security director in the Yemeni capital,” al Masdar Online, May 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “S. African diplomats go to Yemen over kidnapped couple,” AFP, May 29, 2013. Available:
Tweet from Mohammed Albasha, Twitter, May 28, 2013. Available:
“Ambassador in Yemen to help kidnapped South Africans,” SAPA-AFP, May 29, 2013. Available:
[6] “Uprising in the high military academy in Sana’a – pictures,” Mareb Press, May 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Armed men in Ma’rib governorate prevent technical teams from restoring electrical flow,” Mareb Press, May 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “KFAED grants Yemen $85 mln,” Saba News, May 28, 2013. Available:
“KAFED’s Director General leaves Sana’a,” Saba News, May 29, 2013. Available:
[9] “Witness: Clashes between the police and armed men trying to pass inspection checkpoint north of capital Sana’a,” al Masdar Online, May 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Breaking: Violent clashes in Dares Neighborhood on the road the airport,” Barakish Net, May 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Breaking: Three military technicals surround armed men inside supermarket on the road to the airport,” al Thawra News, May 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[10] “Killing of one and wounding of another in violent clashes that broke out in coastal town in Shabwah,” al Masdar Online, May 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[11] “Breaking: Security forces stop explosion of anti-tank mine in Karsh on the Aden-Taiz road,” Huna Aden, May 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[12] “Drone Crashes in Southern Somalia, May Have Been Shot Down,” Reuters, May 28, 2013. Available:
“Shabaab Says UD Drone Crashed in Lower Shabelle,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 28, 2013. Available at SITE.
[13] “Shabaab Official Calls for Leader to be Judged by Independent Court,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 28, 2013. Available at SITE.
[14] “Several Arrested in Mogadishu During Security Operations,” Bar Kulan, May 29, 2013. Available:
[15] “Gangsters Who Wore Military Dressing Arrested in a Security Operation,” Shabelle, May 29, 2013. Available:
[16] “Gunmen Killed 7 People in Mudug Region,” Mustaqbal Radio, May 28, 2013. Available:
[17] “Somali MPs Plot to Censure KDF in Parliament,” Daily Standard, May 28, 2013. Available:
[18] “Breaking News- Somaliland: Hargeisa Local Councilor Murder Innocent Man,” Somaliland Informer, May 29, 2013. Available:
[19] “Security Fortified in Kenyan Border Villages after Police Attack,” Sabahi Online, May 28, 2013. Available:
[20] “Business Will Drive a New Future for Somalia, Says Prime Minister as Investors Meet in Nairobi,” Prime Minister’s Media Office, May 29, 2013. Available:
[21] “Speaker of Somalia National Assembly Receives UN Delegation in His Office,” Shabelle, May 29, 2013. Available:
[22] “Kenya: Police Abuse Nairobi’s Refugees,” Human Rights Watch, May 29, 2013. Available:
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