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: AQAP carries out complex attack on PRC forces in Abyan governorate; President Hadi urges all parties to participate in national dialogue on November 5; armed gang robs Yemeni government bank in al Hudaydah city; PRC leader in Lawder district dies in car accident; Defense Minister Ahmed receives communication from al Qaeda in Aden governorate; Republican Guard troops kill young boy in al Bayda city; government deploys additional forces to Khormaksar region of Aden governorate; Yemeni security forces launch initiative to stop the spread of weapons in Ma’rib governorate
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants ambush Somali base in Wanlaweyn, Hiraan region; one Kenyan police officer is dead after raid of suspected al Shabaab hideout; al Shabaab militants kill Safaricom worker in Kulan, Kenya; fighting erupts between al Shabaab and Somali and AMISOM troops near Bar Hakaba, Bay region; al Shabaab claims killing many Somali and AMISOM troops during an attack in Lower Shabelle province; unknown gunmen kill teenager in Mogadishu; Somali Parliament approves new Somali Prime Minister; President Mohamud meets with IGAD Secretary General
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attacked Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) soldiers in Abyan governorate on October 16. According to local sources, AQAP operatives opened fire on a PRC checkpoint in Mudia district, wounding several PRC soldiers. Following the gunfire, an AQAP suicide bomber drove a vehicle rigged with explosives through the checkpoint. In total, at least six PRC soldiers were killed in the attack and eight were wounded.
- Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi urged all parties to participate in an upcoming national dialogue on November 5. Al Houthis from northern Yemen have indicated that they will take part in the national dialogue; however, the Southern Movement stated on October 3 that it will boycott the event. The Southern Movement has instead called for a forum that aims to restore an independent southern Yemen state. National dialogues in Yemen are mandated by the GCC-UN deal that ousted former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in February 2012.
- An armed gang robbed a Yemeni government bank in al Hudaydah city in western Yemen on October 17. According to local sources, four individuals were killed in the attack, including Yemeni military officer Captain Yuda Mohammad Ali al Jaefi. Local sources added that individuals from the gang were able to flee the scene with a large amount of money.
- Mohammed al Aydarus, Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) leader in Lawder district, was killed in a car accident in southern Yemen on October 17. According to local sources, Mohammed al Aydarus was returning from a meeting with Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed when his vehicle crashed. Mohammed al Aydarus helped the Yemeni government repel an al Qaeda offensive in April 2012 in Abyan governorate.
- Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed said on October 17 that he has received direct communication from al Qaeda during his visit to southern Aden. According to Defense Minister Ahmed, al Qaeda welcomed him to Aden and sent a team of al Qaeda mediators to speak with Defense Minister Ahmed. Al Qaeda mediators reportedly asked to rule the country for 15 years, citing that the Yemeni Socialist Party ruled for 25 years and now it is al Qaeda’s turn.
- Yemeni Republican Guard troops killed a young boy, Ismail Saleh Ahmed al Baramani, in al Bayda city on October 17. According to local sources, Ismail al Baramani was killed in a family member’s vehicle when Republican Guard troops opened fire on their vehicle at a checkpoint near the southern entrance of al Bayda city. It is unclear if the vehicle attempted to bypass the security checkpoint when the Republican Guard troops opened fire.
- Local sources in southern Aden city have reported witnessing a large amount of security personnel deployed to the Khormaksar area on October 17. According to Yemeni government sources, the deployment of additional security forces is precautionary measure taken to increase security before high-level government officials visit the region.
- Yemeni security forces launched a new initiative in Ma’rib governorate on October 17 to stop the spread of weapons throughout Ma’rib city. According to local sources, the new initiative is a joint effort by local security forces and regional sheikhs to control violence in the region.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali base in Wanlaweyn district in the Lower Shabelle region on October 16. Last week Somali and AMISOM troops took over the district which had previously been under al Shabaab control. The attack comes during a Somali and AMISOM advance on al Shabaab held Bur Hakaba, Bay region. It is reported that at lease twelve people, combatants and civilians, were killed in the fight. Somali leaders say they were able to repel the attack, and al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdi Aziz Abu Mus’ab claims that al Shabaab killed many Somali and AMISOM soldiers and destroyed many vehicles during the battle.
- One police officer was killed and nine other were wounded when the Kenyan police raided a house in the tourist town of Mombasa on October 17. Kenyan police, who have increased security measures in towns along the coast, were raiding a house when one of the men inside threw a grenade at the officers. The grenade killed one of the suspected militants and police shot and killed one or two others. Police recovered firearms, ammunition, and two grenades from the scene. The men inside the home were suspected of being al Shabaab sympathizers.
- Suspected al Shabaab militants ambushed a Kenyan telephone network, Safaricom, vehicle when it was out for maintenance checks in Kulan, Kenya on October 16. There were around 20 assailants who shot and killed one of the five Safaricom employees in the vehicle. The attackers then robbed the rest of the individuals in the car and fled the scene.
- Unknown gunmen shot and killed a teenage boy in Warta Nabada district of Mogadishu on October 17. The reason behind the attack is unknown and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
- The Somali Parliament unanimously approved the selection of Abdi Farah Shirdon as Somalia’s new Prime Minister on October 17. Prime Minister Shirdon has said he will make his cabinet selections in the next couple of days.
- Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with the Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Mahab Moalim, on October 16 in Mogadishu. The two spoke of security improvements in Somalia and regional cooperation. IGAD Secretary General Moalim told President Mohamud that the new government had IGAD’s support.