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: JMP reiterates that Saleh must sign the GCC’s transition plan as president, urges international pressure

Horn of Africa: TFG military court sentences five alleged al Shabaab militants to jail; senior Ahlu Sunna commander dies of wounds; al Shabaab militants arrest ten alleged qat merchants; al Shabaab spokesman accuses Ethiopian and Kenyan troops of fighting in the Gedo region; TFG reestablishes claim to 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone; TFP justice committee urges suspension of international aid to ministries that support postponing national election

Yemen Security Brief:

  • Yemen's opposition bloc, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), reiterated its insistence that President Ali Abdullah Saleh sign the GCC agreement "as a party to the deal." Sultan Atwani, a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) spokesman, urged "the GCC and the United States and the European Union to put pressure on Saleh to sign the initiative." GCC officials are planning to meet in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 8 to discuss the transition crisis. Residents reported sounds of gunfire amid continuing protests in Sana'a. There are no initial reports on casualties.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

  • A Transitional Federal Government (TFG) military court sentenced five alleged al Shabaab members to jail. The crackdown comes after the TFG declared a state of emergency on May 5.[2]
  • Sheikh Hassan Sheikh Abdi, a senior Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama'a commander, died in Nairobi. Abdi was wounded in an al Shabaab ambush near Luq in the Gedo region. Ahlu Sunna officials have pledged to launch "reprisal attacks."[3]
  • Al Shabaab fighters arrested ten "young boys and businessmen" accused of selling qat leaves.[4]
  • Sheikh Ali Dhere, an al Shabaab spokesman, accused Ethiopia and Kenya of "crossing the [Somali] border and fighting inside," alleging that Ethiopian and Kenyan troops were fighting al Shabaab militants in the Gedo region. Dhere urged Somalis to join al Shabaab in defense of Somalia.[5]
  • The TFG Fishing and Sea Resources Minister Mohammed Moallim Hassan reestablished the TFG’s claim to Somalia's coastal Exclusive Economic Zone, the stretch of water 200 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia, said. Hassan said "Somalia has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources."[6]
  • The Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) justice committee urged the Sudanese and United Arab Emirates government not to extend aid to the ministries of finance and foreign affairs, said Ali Mohamoud Farah, a TFP spokesperson. Farah cited the finance and foreign affairs ministries' support for postponing national elections.[7]

[1] Mohammed Ghobari, "Yemeni opposition rejects Saleh stance on handover," Reuters, May 6, 2011. Available:
"Yemenis stage another mass protest demanding president’s ouster, release balloons with message," AP, May 6 2011. Available:
[2] Abdalle Ahmed, "IN PICTURES: Military court sentences five Al-Shabab members, a woman among them," RBC, May 5, 2011. Available:
[3] Malyun Ali, "Somalia: Ahlu-suna confirms the death of Sheikh Hassan Koryoley, vows to revenge," RBC, May 5, 2011. Available:
"Al shabaab says Ahlu Sunna’s chairman of Gedo region killed," Shabelle Media Network, May 6, 2011. Available:
[4] "Al shabaab arrests young people and businessmen," Shabelle Media Network, May 6, 2011. Available:
[5] Malyun Ali, "Somalia: Al-Shabab spokesman says Ethiopia and Kenya involve in southern Somalia fighting," RBC, May 6, 2011. Available:
[6] Abdi Hajji Hussein, "Somalia revives its Exclusive Economic Zone after more than two decades," All Headline News, May 5, 2011. Available:
[7] "Parliament justice committee: Sudan, UAE not to finance TFG," Shabelle Media Network, May 6, 2011. Available:
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