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: Saudis and Yemeni face terrorism charges in court; clashes in Rada’a, al Bayda; IEDs target popular committee in Lawder, Abyan; presidential advisor survives assassination attempt in Sana’a; government announces arrest of AQAP cells; ministry of defense appoints two new brigade commanders
Horn of Africa: EU announces additional 124 million euros to AMISOM; Somalia and China sign cooperation agreement; al Shabaab attacks in Mogadishu; government fires senior officials after weekend al Shabaab bombing; Somalia remittance channels reopened; Somali elders deny Hammami militant clan membership
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemeni authorities transferred two Saudis and a Yemeni accused of plotting terrorist acts to court on September 10. The men were arrested in connection with plotting with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to attack government and military facilities and officials.
- Special security forces clashed with armed men in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate on September 10. Casualty numbers were not reported.
- An improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a popular committee vehicle exploded in Lawder, Abyan governorate on September 9 without causing any injuries. The driver of the vehicle was Muhammad Ahmed ‘Awad, the brother of a prominent popular committee leader. He saw the explosive device under the car and shot his gun in the air to warn bystanders away. Another IED was found under the seat of a bus driver in Lawder, but it was disarmed.
- Unknown armed men attempted to assassinate Doctor Faris al Saqaf by throwing a grenade into his house in Sana’a on September 9. The attack did not cause any injuries. Faris al Saqaf is an advisor to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and head of the Center for Strategic Affairs Studies and Scientific Research.
- The Yemeni government announced on September 8 that security forces arrested a total of 27 AQAP members from three cells located in al Bayda, Hadramawt, and Sana’a during August. Members of the cells were found with machine gun and explosives.
- The Yemeni Ministry of Defense appointed commanders for two new brigades in Shabwah and Dhamar formed from forces of the former First Armored Division. Brigadier General Sufian Abdul Rahim will command the brigade stationed in Dhamar, and Muhammad Suwadi will command the brigade stationed in Belhaf, Shabwah governorate.
Horn of Africa Security Review
- The European Union announced the provision of an additional 124 million euros by year’s end to AMISOM on September 9. The EU claims the additional funding is “critical” for AMISOM’s success and brings the total EU contribution to nearly 600 million euros.
- Elders from Bay and Bakool regions rejected American-born former al Shabaab member Omar Hammami’s claim of clan membership on September 9. Regional elders dismissed Hammami’s claim on the basis of his recent affiliation with al Shabaab.
- The Somali Federal Government fired senior officials from the Interior and National Security Ministries while the Police Ministry fired the police commissioner and the head of police operations on September 10. The firings come after the September 7 al Shabaab bombing in Mogadishu.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked Somalia National Army troops in the Yaqshid and Heliwa districts of Mogadishu and fired mortars at a building housing the Heliwa district commissioner on September 9. Casualties were reported but exact figures were not released.
- Barclays announced that remittance accounts to Somalia will remain open for the next 20 days, on September 9.
- Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud signed a cooperation agreement with Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan in Mogadishu on September 10. The Chinese requested to open an embassy in Mogadishu and pledged to rebuild the Somali National Theatre, Mogadishu stadium, hospitals, and roads.