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: Senior Central Security Forces officer assassinated in Hadramawt governorate; security forces reinforce protection for engineers repairing pipeline in Ma’rib governorate; security forces contain riots in Ibb governorate; local sources report suspicious ships traveling near the coasts of Abyan governorate; PRC forces kill civilian in Abyan governorate; Yemeni naval forces commended by Combined Task Force 151 leadership

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants steal animals for zakat payment in Middle Jubba region; Somali Defense Minister Isse visits Kismayo; six suspected al Shabaab militants arrested in Beledweyne, Hiraan; UPDF spokesman reports that Ugandan and Burundian forces have lost less than 500 soldiers in Somalia; Mahamat Saleh Annadif appointed new head of AMISOM in Somalia; Somali military court convicts 20 al Shabaab militants

Yemen Security Brief

  • Maj. Basel al Kathiri, a senior Central Security Forces (CSF) officer, was assassinated in Sayun city in Hadramawt governorate on November 2. Local sources reported that Maj. al Kathiri was assassinated in front of his house and that the circumstances regarding the killing remain unclear.[1]
  • Yemeni security forces reinforced protective measures on November 1 for engineer teams repairing a liquefied natural gas pipeline in Ma’rib governorate. The pipeline was damaged in an attack on October 30. Local sources reported that soldiers from the 107th Infantry Brigade, tasked with protecting the engineers, were recently ambushed by terrorist elements. Details regarding the ambush are unclear; however, four members of the 107th Infantry Brigade were wounded in the attack.[2]
  • Yemeni security forces reported on November 1 that widespread riots in Ibb governorate have been contained. According to Brig. Fuwad al Atab, Director of Security in Ibb governorate, security forces were able to contain the riots in front of police stations and remove roadblocks. Atab added that suspects have already been arrested and will undergo further investigation.[3]
  • Local sources reported on November 2 that suspicious ships are traveling near the coasts of Abyan governorate. Popular Resistance Committees (PRCs), along with Yemeni Coast Guard forces, are reportedly monitoring the situation and pursuing any suspicious ships.[4]
  • Popular Resistance Committees shot dead a civilian in Abyan governorate on November 1. Local sources reported that the civilian, identified as Ali Mohammed Ali al Saeedi, was killed by PRC forces on the outskirts of Batis city. Details regarding the killing remain unclear.[5]
  • Yemeni naval forces were commended by Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) leadership on November 1. CTF-151 is an international naval task force set up to prevent piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia. Turkish CTF-151 Commander Rear Admiral Oguz Karaman, who recently met with Yemeni Chief of General Staff Maj. Gen. Ahmed Ali al Ashwal in Sana’a, stated that the Yemeni naval forces are doing great work in gathering information on pirate movement.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants reportedly stole 170 animals from herders in Sakow and Salagle areas of Middle Jubba region. Local forces reported that al Shabaab stole the animals as a payment for zakat, a mandatory monetary contribution under shari’a law.[7]
  • Somali Defense Minister Hussein Arab Isse visited Kismayo on November 2 for the first time since the city was recaptured from al Shabaab militants. Defense Minister Isse was accompanied by Commander of Somali Forces Gen. Abdikadir Sheikh Ali Dini.[8]
  • Somali security forces arrested six suspected al Shabaab militants in Beledweyne city in Hiraan region on November 1. Local sources reported that the six al Shabaab militants were arrested at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city.[9]
  • Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) spokesman Col. Felix Kulayigye stated on November 1 that Ugandan and Burundian forces have lost less than 500 soldiers fighting in Somali during the last six years. This statement contradicts figures by Kenyan Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Richard Onyonko, who recently reported that Uganda alone has lost 2,700 soldiers fighting in Somalia.[10]
  • The African Union (AU) appointed Mahamat Saleh Annadif on November 1 as the head of AMISOM in Somalia. Annadif, a Chadian, will assist in consolidating the achievements made by Somali authorities and the United Nations according to local reports. Annadif previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Chadian government from 1997 to 2003.[11]
  • A Somali military court sentenced 20 Somali nationals on November 1 for their affiliation with al Shabaab. Eight of the 20 convicted individuals will serve a five-year prison sentence. Several others will undergo a rehabilitation program by the Somali government.[12]

[1] “Breaking: Security Forces Officer Assassinated in Suburbs of Sayun,” Barakish, November 2, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Reinforcing Protection for Team Repairing Gas Pipeline in Ma’rib after Ambush,” 26 September, November 1, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Ibb Security Contains Riots in Front of Department in Old City,” 26 September, November 1, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Suspicious Ships Are Cruising Abyan Coasts,” Barakish, November 2, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Boy Killed in Siraar Yafa’a by Popular Committees Gunfire,” Barakish, November 2, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Yemen Strengthens Ties with Combined Maritime Force Counter Piracy Task Force,” The Maritime Executive, November 1, 2012. Available:
[7] “Militants ‘Steal’ 170 Herds of Animal in Middle Juba,” Bar Kulan, November 2, 2012. Available:
[8] “Defense Minister Visits Kismayo,” Bar Kulan, November 2, 2012. Available:
[9] “Six Alleged Militants Arrested in Beledweyne,” Bar Kulan, November 2, 2012. Available:
[10] “Uganda, Burundi Forces Lost 500 Soldiers in Somalia,” Daily Monitor, November 1, 2012. Available:
[11] “Annadif to Lead AU Somalia Mission,” Daily Nation, November 1, 2012. Available:
[12] “Somalia: Somali Military Court Sentences 20 al Shabaab Members,” Raxanreeb, November 1, 2012. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Nov '12
Oct '12