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: Security forces prevent southern demonstrators from entering Aden; one soldier killed and two more injured in roadside bomb in Abyan governorate; increased violence in northern Yemen is creating a refugee situation

Horn of Africa: Two teenage boys executed by al Shabaab for crimes; Puntland government rehabilitating pirates to enable them to get normal jobs; al Shabaab statements show charity, “open day,” and recent clashes; IGAD meets in Addis Ababa to discuss AMISOM; AMISOM troops fire on civilians in Mogadishu, kill two; teenage couple sentenced to lashings for eloping; six Kenyans and one Nigerian arrested for attempting to join al Shabaab; Yemeni officials believe their refugee camps are being infiltrated by al Shabaab militants

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni policemen prevented hundreds of Southern Movement protesters from demonstrating in Aden.  The troops blocked access to the city on all main roadways.  Southern Movement sources report that Yemeni soldiers had opened fire on protesters in the town of Anad, 40 miles north of Aden, who were carrying the flag of the south.[1]
  • One soldier was killed and two more were injured when an army patrol car hit a roadside bomb in Lawder in Abyan governorate.  Soldiers clashed with gunmen following the explosion.  No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.[2]
  • In the past ten days northern Yemen has seen its worse violence since the ceasefire was signed between the government and the Houthi rebels in February.  The UNHCR says that while the exact number of people who have been displaced due to fighting is unclear, some villagers have been fleeing into Saudi Arabia to escape the violence.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Two teenage boys were executed by firing squad by al Shabaab in Mogadishu.  Sheikh Omar, an al Shabaab “judge” said that one 15-year-old boy was accused of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old boy and one 18-year-old was accused of spying for the TFG.[4]
  • The Puntland government has launched a $2.4 million rehabilitation program for pirates, sponsored by a Western NGO.  The objective of the program is to show pirates that there are more respectable ways to earn a living than piracy and to give them the skills to do so.  A staff member said, “This project’s objective is to reduce piracy and get alternative jobs for youth.”[5]
  • Al Shabaab released communiqués on jihadist forums showing its distribution of charity, its “open day” in which Somalis were encouraged to play sports, and its recent military victories.  The military clashes reported occurred in Beledweyne in Hiraan region, Mogadishu, and Galgudud region.  The group writes that it had distributed food products, supervised by the Zakat Distribution Office of al Shabaab, that benefited 9,000 families and totaled $500,000.  The group also claimed to have taken control of We Domli village in central Somalia and  to have successfully attacked Burundian AMISOM convoys in Mogadishu.[6]
  • Members of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are meeting in Addis Ababa to discuss Somalia’s peacekeeping force.  Naming a number of recommendations by the AU and IGAD to the UN which were ignored, the Ethiopian minister said, “The UN has not been quick enough to intervene to solve problems in Somalia.”[7]
  • AMISOM troops fired on civilians in between Aden Adde airport and Mogadishu’s K4 intersection, killing two and injuring many more.[8] 
  • A teenage boy and girl were sentenced to lashings in Jalaqsi district in the central Hiraan region for eloping with each other.[9]
  • Six Kenyans and one Nigerian with a British passport were arrested on suspicion of trying to travel to Somalia to join al Shabaab.  The men were carrying jihadist materials and claimed to have been radicalized in a mosque in Mombasa.[10]
  • Yemeni officials claim that their Somali refugee camps are being infiltrated by al Shabaab militants posing as Somali refugees.  They claim that these militants could turn refugee camps into Islamist recruiting grounds.  The Yemeni government may increase restrictions upon those wishing to claim refugee status in Yemen in an effort to combat this infiltration.[11]

[1] “Yemen Forces Block Protests Around Gulf Cup Launch,” AFP, November 22, 2010.  Available:
[2] “S. Yemen Bomb Kills One During Soccer Cup,” The Star, November 23, 2010. Available:
[3] “New Escalation Mars Return Prospects to Northern Yemen,” The UN Refugee Agency, November 23, 2010. Available:
[4] “Somali Militants Execute 2 Teens Accused of Crimes,” AP, November 23, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somalia Schools its Former Pirates,” Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2010. Available:
[6] “Shabaab Reports on Civilian and Military Activity in Somalia,” SITE Intel Group, November 22, 2010. Available at SITE.
[7] “African Leaders Hold Summit on Sudan, Somalia,” AFP, November 23, 2010. Available:
[8] “2 Die, 9 Civilians Seriously Wounded by AMISOM Troops in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, November 23, 2010. Available:
[9] “Two Teenagers Sentenced Lashes by al-Shabab in Hiran Region,” Mareeg Online, November 23, 2010. Available:
[10] “Kenya Arrests Seven Attempting to Join Somali Militants,” Mareeg Online, November 23, 2010. Available:
[11] “Terrorists Posing as Refugees in Yemen,” The Telegraph, November 21, 2010. Available:
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