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 government and al Houthi rebels agree to timetable extension for implementing 2007 Qatari-brokered peace deal; three Yemeni troops kidnapped, security checkpoint attacked in Amran governorate; assassination attempt made against military commander in southern Yemen; Khawlan tribesmen kidnap Supreme Judicial Council head’s brother in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Hizb al Islam leader calls on AMISOM forces to leave Somalia, tells Somali president to step down; heavy fighting enters ninth consecutive day, killing four civilians; roadside bomb kills at least eight civilians, injures 25 others; TFG denies presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni government and al Houthi rebels agreed to an extended timetable for implementing the 2007 Qatari-brokered peace deal between the two groups. The agreement was signed in Doha Sunday. According to the Yemen Post, both sides agreed to “complete the implementation of the deal terms and overcome challenges facing the peace process in Sa’ada and Harf Sufyan district” in Amran governorate.[1]

  • Armed militants kidnapped three Yemeni soldiers from the Alamaliqah Brigade force in the Dalat al Shaqra’a area of the Harf Sufyan district of Amran governorate.  The kidnapped soldiers are currently unaccounted for, officials said Tuesday.  A separate group of militants attacked a security checkpoint in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate according to a report from the Yemen Post.[2]

  • Sources in south Yemen report that gunmen opened fire on a car carrying Brigadier Thabet Nasser al Jawhari, commander of the 121st Infantry Brigade, Tuesday in Radfan district of Lahij governorate. Witnesses report that two of Jawhari’s bodyguards were injured in the attack.[3]

  • The brother of the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Esam al Samawi, was kidnapped by Khawlan tribesmen in Sana’a last week, according to government officials. Sources say that the kidnappers are protesting recent death sentences handed down against members of the tribe. President Saleh has instructed the governor of Sana’a, Numan Dwaid, to begin negotiations with the kidnappers to secure Samawi’s release.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Hizb al Islam leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys called on all AMISOM forces in Somalia to leave the country and told Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed to step down in a statement to the press Tuesday. “President Sheik Sharif Ahmed ought to quit,” Aweys told reporters. “He has nothing for the people except a call for more foreign troops that massacre Somalis.”  Aweys added, “I urge Islamists to unite.  Areas under the control of Islamists are peaceful.  They are good Muslims who can rule the country.”[5]

  • Fighting between TFG forces and al Shabaab militants continued for the ninth consecutive day Tuesday in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Local witnesses reported the heaviest fighting in the Hodan, Hawl Wadag and Bondhere neighborhoods in northern Mogadishu. Witnesses also said that a mortar attack in Hodan killed four civilians and injured several others.[6]

  • A roadside bomb intended for AMISOM forces and government personnel killed at least eight people and wounded 25 others Tuesday when a minibus drove over it. Two other minibuses traveling behind were hit with shrapnel. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.  The buses were traveling near the former compound of the Jalle Siad military academy, which currently houses Burundian AMISOM peacekeepers.  At least 17 other people have been reported killed and dozens more wounded by shelling of Bakara market.[7]

  • TFG spokesman Mohamed Nor Dabaashe issued a statement Tuesday refuting reports that hundreds of Ethiopian soldiers carried out operations against al Shabaab militants around Beledweyne near the Ethiopian-Somali border in recent days. Dabaashe also said there is no Ethiopian military presence in Somalia, calling the reports “false.”  Sources reported that Ethiopian armored trucks had crossed the border and peacefully took over Beledweyne with government forces after militants withdrew from the town.  A detailed plan of an Ethiopian offensive was reportedly discussed at a recent East African Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) bloc meeting.[8]

[1] “Government and Houthi Group Sign Explanatory Extension to Peace Deal Timetable,” Yemen Post, August 31, 2010. Available:
[2] “Armed People Kidnap 3 Soldiers in Harf Sufyan,” Yemen Post, August 31, 2010. Available:
[3] “Military commander survives assassination in south Yemen,” News Yemen, August 31, 2010. Available:
[4] “Tribesmen kidnap brother of Yemen’s Judicial Council’s head,” News Yemen, August 31, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somali Islamists tell president to step down,’” Reuters, September 1, 2010. Available:
[6] “Heavy fighting erupts in Mogadishu for the ninth consecutive day,” Shabelle Media Network, August 31, 2010. Available:
[7] “Somalia: Roadside Bomb Kills 8 Civilians,” New York Times, August 31, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somali Government Denise Ethiopia Sent Troops into Somalia,” VOA News, September 1, 2010. Available:
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