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: Yemen army kills five al Qaeda-linked militants in Abyan; EU discusses possibility of freezing Yemeni regime’s assets

 Horn of Africa: Kenyan Foreign Minister warns al Shabaab sympathizers; roadside bomb targets Puntland MP; al Shabaab arrested two clerics in Hiraan region; Kenyan military claims al Shabaab reduced along the border

Yemen Security Brief

  • A Yemeni government official reported that five al Qaeda-linked militants were killed by artillery shells in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. One of those killed was Indonesian. The same official added that “five US drone strikes” targeted an al Qaeda position in Rumeila, north of Zinjibar and Jaar.[1]
  • French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe announced that the European Union (EU) will discuss the possibility of freezing the assets of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and members of his ruling party in an attempt to force his hand to resign.  Juppe said, "I am ready to discuss with my European colleagues how to ensure the resolution is implemented, but our action would be more efficient if the (Yemen) opposition was more united." He added that an inquiry into charges against Saleh’s regime for war crimes was plausible since there is no immunity from prosecution for such crimes according to international law.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula warned countries supporting al Shabaab that they risk isolation.  He also commented that the Kenyan government continued to have good relations with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG).  “We enjoy good diplomatic relationships with the Somalia government under President Sheikh Sharif and we are pursing [sic] one course to bring down our common enemy, the al Shabaab . . . we are vigilant and set to use every possible way to bring the al Shabaab to its knees because we cannot compromise the security of our people."[3]
  • A roadside bomb exploded in Galkayo targeting a member of Puntland’s parliament as he was driving to the airport north of the city.  The blast injured a security guard and a nearby civilian.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants in Jalalaqsi district in Hiraan region arrested two Muslim clerics, Sheikh Ahmed Jalaqsi and Sheikh Sharif Cilmi Mara Cadde, and accused them of breaking unspecified rules.  Local clan leaders complained that the clerics had been harassed and urged al Shabaab to release them.[5]
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Maison Nkoimo said that Kenyan forces removed al Shabaab from “about 50 percent of the area” along the southern border.  He said, “We’re pretty sure that southwards of Burgavo, we don’t expect any hostilities.”[6]

[1] “Five Qaeda Suspects Killed in South Yemen,” AFP, November 8, 2011. Available:
[2]“Yemen: Europe Discusses Freezing of Assets,” Yemen Post, November 8, 2011. Available:
[3] Roselyne Obala and Grace Wekesa, “Kenya warns friends of Al Shabaab,” The Standard, November 7, 2011. Available:
[4] “Blast injuries 2 in Galkacyo city of Mudug region, north Somalia,” Mareeg Online, November 8, 2011. Available:
[5] “Somali Religious leaders captured by Al-shabaab,” SONNA, November 8, 2011. Available:
[6] John Ngirachu, “Al-Shabaab on the run in south zone,” Daily Nation, November 7, 2011. Available:
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