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: Yemeni forces kill six al Qaeda-linked militants in Abyan
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab arrests 15 people in Baidoa; unidentified gunmen attack vehicle near Somali border; al Shabaab vows war on Kenya; TFG president promises action against soldiers who commit crimes; TFG embassy in Kenya to register Somali nationals; Kenyan official says al Shabaab seeking to negotiate
Yemen Security Brief
- A local official reported that an airstrike killed three al Qaeda-linked militants and wounded three others in Shaqra in Abyan governorate. Yemeni security forces shelled an al Qaeda-linked militant base in the northern part of Zinjibar killing three more militants and wounding dozens others. Two Yemeni soldiers were wounded in the clashes.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab militants in Baidoa, the capital of Bay region, arrested 15 people for supporting the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Locals report that those arrested are mainly elderly and young men. Locals also report that the militants entered tea kiosks and shopping centers in the town’s main market looking for government supporters. The militia has threatened to take “decisive measures” against any of those arrested if their investigation finds that they are government supporters.
- Kenyan Red Cross Spokesman Nelly Muluka-Oluoch reported that unidentified gunmen attacked a civilian vehicle with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, killing all four passengers. The vehicle was carrying school examination papers.[3
- Al Shabaab deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, also known as Abu Mansur, said at a large rally in Elasha Biyaha, "The time to ask Kenya to stop war has passed. The only option is to fight them. Kenya, you have started the war and so you have to face the consequences." He also called for further attacks inside Kenya. “The Kenyan Mujahideen who were trained by Osama in Afghanistan, stop throwing grenades at buses. We need a huge blow against Kenya. Hand grenades hurled can harm them but we want huge blasts.” Al Shabaab’s military spokesman, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Mus’ab, reported that al Shabaab militants had attacked four Kenyan military vehicles near Taabta.
- TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed threatened action against government soldiers who commit crimes. He expressed regret that some government soldiers were not fulfilling their duty and killing or robbing civilians instead of protecting them. He also commented that the government would set up a factory to produce army uniforms amid concerns that armed gangs are dressing as TFG soldiers.
- The TFG embassy in Nairobi has announced plans to register all Somali nationals living in Kenya. The TFG ambassador to Kenya, Mohamed Adam Isse, said that the move is to protect Somalis living in Kenya following the two grenade attacks.
- An unnamed Kenyan official has said that al Shabaab leaders contacted the Kenyan government to negotiate. Kenyan government spokesman, Alfred Mutua, denied the claims, saying, “Al-Shabaab has not contacted Kenya in any way . . . there are no plans whatsoever for Kenya to negotiate with Al-Shabaab. Kenya does not negotiate with outlawed groups." He also said that the operation to defeat al Shabaab would take a “couple of months, if that,” but added that weeks would be a better time frame.