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: Suspected AQAP operatives bomb oil pipeline in Shabwah governorate; suspected U.S. targeted airstrike kills three near Sana’a; unidentified assailants attack home of security director in Shabwah governorate; tribesmen shoot dead oil worker in Shabwah governorate; suspected AQAP operatives set up checkpoints in Abyan governorate; unidentified assailants attack electricity lines in Ma’rib governorate
Horn of Africa: An explosion in Shalambood, Lower Shabelle kills five people; Somali government delegation denied entry to Kismayo city in Lower Jubba; AMISOM and Somali forces seize al Shabaab weapons cache in Kismayo, Lower Jubba; police forces arrest Somali soldier in Beledweyne, Hiraan; thousands of residents in Mogadishu support newly nominated cabinet members; UK government condemns attempted bombing of parliament building in Mogadishu on November 7; UNSC renews AMISOM peacekeeping mission in Somalia; man dressed in Somali army uniform guns down civilian in Mogadishu; Puntland security forces arrest secretary of former Puntland president; al Shabaab leader discusses the ongoing war in Somalia; AMISOM releases press statement on charcoal exports in Kismayo
Yemen Security Brief
- Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives bombed an oil pipeline in Shabwah governorate on November 8. Engineer teams and security personnel have been deployed to assess the damage.
- A suspected U.S. targeted airstrike killed at least three individuals in Sanhan region near Sana’a on November 7. Local sources reported that the targeted airstrike killed three al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives, identified as Adnan al Qadhi, Rabi’a Laheb, and Radhwan al Hashedi. Security forces have not yet confirmed the identities of the dead bodies. An unidentified security source reported that one of the targeted individuals played a role in an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a on September 17, 2008.
- Unidentified assailants attacked the home of Brig. Ahmed Saleh Omair, security director of Shabwah governorate, on November 8. The attack reportedly took place in al Naseb neighborhood in Ataq city. The attack coincided with a suspected AQAP attack on an oil pipeline in Shabwah governorate on November 8. Details regarding the attack, including whether the two incidents are related, are currently unclear.
- Unidentified tribesmen shot dead an employee of an oil company in Shabwah governorate on November 7. The employee, identified as Hussein bin Ali al Meqrahi, was killed after an altercation with tribesmen in the area. Local sources added that tensions remain high in the region and threaten to halt business operations of the oil company.
- Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives set up checkpoints on a main road in Abyan governorate on November 8. Local sources reported that the checkpoints were set up between Ahwar and al Wuday regions. AQAP operatives reportedly checked vehicles passing through the area. It is unclear if security forces have responded to remove the checkpoints.
- Unidentified assailants attacked electricity lines in al Shabwan region of Ma’rib governorate on November 8. It is unclear who carried out the attack.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- An explosion in Shalambood city in Lower Shabelle region killed five people and injured eight more on November 8. Local sources reported that the explosion occurred in a grocery store. Local sources added that the explosion was likely caused by a landmine detonated remotely. Four Somali government soldiers were among the wounded.
- A Somali government delegation was denied entry to Kismayo city in Lower Jubba region on November 7. The delegation was reportedly sent by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to investigate reports of resurging charcoal exports from Kismayo. The delegation included members from AMISOM and the Somali government. President Mohamud later summoned AMISOM officials to Mogadishu to explain why the delegation was denied entry.
- AMISOM and Somali government forces seized large caches of al Shabaab weapons in Kismayo city in Lower Jubba region on November 8. The weapons, which included several rifles, handguns, and ammunition, were discovered buried in a Muslim cemetery in the western area of Kismayo.
- Police forces arrested a Somali soldier accused of killing a civilian in Beledweyne city in Hiraan region on November 8. Local sources reported that the accused soldier killed a laundry worker after a dispute on November 6.
- Thousands of residents took to the streets of Mogadishu on November 8 to support Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon’s newly nominated cabinet members. The nominated cabinet members are expected to go before the Somali parliament to confirm their appointments.
- The United Kingdom government condemned the attempted bombing of the Somali parliament building in Mogadishu on November 7. UK Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds called the attack “an unsuccessful attempt to disrupt the important progress being made by the new Somali government.”
- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) renewed AMISOM’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia on November 8 for an additional four months. International sources reported that the mandate for only four months will allow time for the UNSC to review other issues regarding Somalia, such as an arms embargo and charcoal export issues.
- A man dressed in a Somali army uniform gunned down a civilian in Mogadishu city on November 7. Local sources reported that the attack took place at Banadir Junction in central Mogadishu. The suspected killer fled the scene before security forces arrived.
- The Puntland Maritime Police Force arrested Farah Abdullahi, secretary of former Puntland President Mohamud Muse Hersi, on November 8. The arrest occurred at Farah Abdullahi’s office in Boosaaso city in Bari region. It is currently unclear as to why Farah Abdullahi was arrested.
- Al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Abu al Zubair, also known as Godane, spoke on the war in Somalia in an audio speech released on pro-al Shabaab forums on October 27. Godane referred to AMISOM forces as an “alliance that invaded the Muslim world.” Godane added that Kenya’s decision to join AMISOM is a “historic mistake.”
- AMISOM released a press statement on November 6 regretting that charcoal is being exported out of Somalia in violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 2036. AMISOM added that although it is not mandated to monitor commercial activities in Somalia, it is aware of its responsibilities to maintain peace and order. AMISOM’s statement comes after local residents reported that Kenyan AMISOM forces are allowing charcoal exports out of Kismayo port.