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: Gunmen assassinate Saudi military official in Sana’a; assailants bomb oil pipeline bombed in Ma’rib; security forces arrest 137 criminals in Yemen; property of the 33rd Armored Brigade is stolen

Horn of Africa: Tanzanian MYC encourages East African fighters to join al Shabaab; ten al Shabaab suspects arrested in Garissa, Kenya; police recover grenades in Mandera, Kenya; explosion targets AMISOM convoy in Marka, Lower Shabelle region; civilians killed in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; fighting erupts between Somaliland and Khatumo soldiers in Hudun district, Sool region; Ethiopian troops to remain in Somalia until AMISOM takes over their positions; EAC denies Somalia membership; EU delegation arrives in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Unidentified gunmen killed a Saudi military official in al Hada’ district of Sana’a on November 28. Local sources reported that the Saudi official, identified as Sgt. Khalid al Anzi, was killed along with a Yemeni bodyguard. Anzi, a member of a foreign military delegation in Sana’a, was reportedly gunned down while traveling in a car to the Saudi Embassy. Local sources added that the unidentified gunmen were dressed in Yemeni military fatigues and opened fire on Anzi’s vehicle, causing it to flip over.[1]
  • An oil pipeline was bombed in Sirwah region of Ma’rib governorate on November 28. Local sources reported that the oil pipeline, which connects oil fields in Safir to the Ras Issa export terminal in the Red Sea, was bombed by unidentified assailants. Local sources added that the blast occurred in Wadi Habab of Kilo 88 region.[2]
  • Yemeni security forces reportedly arrested 137 suspected criminals on November 26. The arrests occurred in a number of different governorates.[3]
  • Local sources reported on November 28 that property belonging to the 33rd Armored Brigade was stolen by unidentified individuals. The 33rd Armored Brigade recently relocated from Taiz governorate to al Dhaleh governorate.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Tanzania’s branch of the Muslim Youth Center (MYC) encouraged Islamic fighters in East Africa to join al Shabaab on November 22. The message, released on its blog, said there were rumors that fighters in East Africa contacted the group, asking whether they should move to Somalia and join al Shabaab. The group said fighters should join al Shabaab despite the “few tactical setbacks in Somalia.”[5]
  • Ten additional suspects have been arrested in Garissa, Kenya on November 28 in connection with the shooting of three Kenyan Defense Soldiers. Police arrested the ten men after their accomplice gave up names after being arrested several days earlier. Many of the detainees admitted to being part of the Somali terror network al Shabaab. Several said they were sent to Kenya to “deal with” security officials in Kenya.[6] 
  • Police in Mandera, Kenya recovered a bag containing two hand grenades on November 28. The luggage was dropped by suspected Somali militants fleeing the battle that occurred in Beled Hawo, Somalia the day before. Civilians in Mandera were suspicious of the men and began to approach them, but the suspected militants shot guns into the air and were able to flee. No one was hurt during the incident.[7]
  • An explosion hit an AMISOM military convoy in Marka, Lower Shabelle region on November 27. The source of the explosion and the number of casualties are not yet known. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.[8]
  • At least two, possibly three civilians, were killed in the Hawo Tako district of Beledweyne, Hiraan region on November 28. An unknown gunman armed with an AK-47 stormed the residential home killing its residents. An investigation is under way to find the gunman.[9]
  • Fighting broke out in the Hudun district, Sool region on November 28 between soldiers from the Somaliland administration and soldiers from the Khatumo administration. The fight occurred after the breakaway state Somaliland attempted to put ballot boxes in the Sool region, a part of the Khatumo administration, one that wishes to still be part of Somalia. Casualties from the incident are not yet known.[10]
  • Security forces in Mogadishu have begun removing illegal roadblocks throughout the city on November 27. The roadblocks were put up to charge civilian buses traveling in the Northern parts of Mogadishu. So far, security personnel have removed seven roadblocks and arrested 50 people.[11]
  • Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn announced on November 28 that Ethiopian troops would stay in Somalia until AMISOM troops were able to relieve them of their positions. Prime Minister Dessalegn gave no time frame for when that would happen.[12]
  • Somalia and South Sudan have been prevented from joining the East African Community (EAC) on November 27. The officials decided the countries have not had enough economic progression since wartime to be admitted.[13] 
  • A delegation from the European Union (EU) landed in Mogadishu on November 27. EU envoy Michele Cervone d’Urso met with Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon at Villa Somalia in Mogadishu to discuss strengthening the relationship between Somalia and the EU.[14]  

[1] “Yemen Officials Say Gunmen Killed Saudi Official,” Associated Press, November 28, 2012. Available:
“Saudi Military Official Killed by Armed Men in Yemen, SPA Says,” Bloomberg, November 28, 2012. Available:
“Gunmen Kill Saudi Diplomat, Guard in Yemen Capital,” AFP, November 28, 2012. Available:
“Saudi Diplomat Shot Dead in Yemen, Officials Say,” Reuters, November 28, 2012. Available:
[2] “Breaking: Oil Pipeline Experiences New Explosion in Sirwah, Ma’rib,” Barakish, November 28, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Arrest of 137 Suspects for Different Criminal Cases,” SABA, November 28, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “News of the Confiscation of Property from 33rd Brigade Base,” Ma’rib Press, November 28, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “MYC Encourages Participation in Jihad in Somalia,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 23, 2012. Available at SITE.
[7] “Police Recover Bag Packed with Hand Grenades,” Daily Standard, November 28, 2012. Available:
[8] “Big Blast Hits AU Soldiers in Marko, South Somalia,” Shabelle, November 27, 2012. Available:
[9] “Two Civilians Killed in Beledweyne Town,” Shabelle, November 28, 2012. Available:
“Gunman Kills Three in Beledweyne,” Bar Kulan, November 28, 2012. Available:
[10] “Fighting Erupts in Hudun District, Sool Region,” Bar Kulan, November 28, 2012. Available:
[11] “National Security Forces Remove Illegal waylays in the Capital,” Radio Mogadishu, November 27, 2012. Available:
[12] “Ethiopia to Stay in Somalia until AU Takeover: PM” AFP, November 28, 2012. Available:
[13] “EAC Locks Out South Sudan and Somalia,” Africa Review, November 27, 2012. Available:
“South Sudan, Somalia Locked out of EAC,” Daily Monitor, November 27, 2012. Available:
[14] “EU Delegation Lands in Somali Capital,” November 27, 2012. Available:
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