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: U.S. Central Command seeks $1.2 billion funding boost for Yemeni forces over five years; weapons, ammunition seized in Amran governorate; Khawlan tribesmen release brother of Supreme Judicial Council's head; AQAP leader in Ma’rib governorate renounces agreement with government; Yemeni foreign minister reiterates denial of foreign forces in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Reprieve in violence in Mogadishu after ten consecutive days of fighting; al Shabaab official predicts air raids on Mogadishu; senior Somaliland security official killed in Las Anod; Radio Daljir journalist stabbed to death in Puntland; Minnesota Somalis meet with FBI, denounce al Shabaab; Uganda deploys additional 750 peacekeepers to Somalia; Somali officials and pirates reach agreement in fight against al Shabaab, pirates work with both sides; EU announces additional €47 million in aid to support peacekeeping efforts in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • The U.S. military’s Central Command has proposed injecting nearly $1.2 billion over five years into building up Yemen’s security forces, according to the Wall Street Journal. The report points to this proposal as a “sign of Washington’s fears of al Qaeda’s growing foothold on the Arabian Peninsula,” but that “the timing and the final funding amount will depend on how supporters of the effort overcome resistance” from State Department and Pentagon officials who have doubts about the Yemeni government and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ability to effectively use American-taxpayer money. The report also says that the Obama Administration has made AQAP a priority concern, “fueling a robust internal debate over how to calibrate assistance to address what many officials see as the biggest counterterrorism challenge outside Afghanistan and Pakistan.”[1]

  • Security officials seized a bus containing a large cache of weapons and ammunition Wednesday in Amran governorate, the Interior Ministry reported. Officials said that the weapons and ammunition were discovered under the seats.[2]

  • Asim al Samawi, brother of Supreme Judicial Council head Esam al Samawi, was released by his captors Wednesday after successful negotiations between the Khawlan tribe and the governor of Sana’a, Numan Dwaid. The terms of the negotiated agreement between Khawlan officials and Governor Dwaid remains unclear at this time.[3]

  • Khalid al Zaidi, a leading AQAP member in Ma’rib governorate, renounced an agreement with the Yemeni government to refrain from “violence and terrorist activities” in the country, sources reported Wednesday. In an interview with al Wasat, al Zaidi said that an agreement signed with President Saleh last June to refrain from terror attacks in Yemen in exchange for the release of AQAP prisoners had not been fulfilled by the government. Zaidi also said that the Yemeni security forces are weak and denied any coordination between al Qaeda and the southern movement; however he noted that AQAP targeted the south because “the environment and conditions in the southern provinces are more favorable for operations against the state.”[4]

  • In a statement Thursday, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi denied continued reports of foreign military forces on Yemeni territory, pointing out that there is a “mutual understanding between Yemen and the United States in various aspects of coordination to combat terrorism.” The statement also praised Yemeni forces in their efforts against al Qaeda.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The streets of Mogadishu were calmer Wednesday, after ten days of heavy fighting that has claimed over 100 lives.  AMISOM forces claimed a small victory, saying that their peacekeepers had seized several strategic intersections from al Shabaab militants. “We are expanding our zone,” one AMISOM official said. “We have killed more than 300 insurgents in the past week or so.”[6]

  • Sheikh Ali Mohamed Hussein, al Shabaab’s Mogadishu governor, told reporters at Bakara Market in Mogadishu Wednesday that he expects air raids on the Somali capital in the near future. “We are asking for public support, reckoning the possibility that war planes join the conflict in Mogadishu,” Hussein said.[7]

  • Colonel Abdi Esse Nur, a senior Somaliland security official, was killed late Tuesday by six gunmen outside of his home in Las Anod. Two bodyguards were also wounded in the attack.[8]

  • Radio Daljir journalist Abdullahi Omar Gedi was murdered in Galkayo Tuesday, according to his colleagues. Gedi was attacked by unknown assailants and reportedly stabbed at least six times in the chest.[9]

  • A group of elders from the Minneapolis Somali community publicly denounced al Shabaab Wednesday, calling the group “sinister” for recruiting young Somali-Americans to fight in Somalia. The elders made the statement prior to a closed-door meeting with FBI officials. The goal of the meeting was to “keep an open dialogue with law enforcement.”[10]

  •  Uganda has deployed an additional 750 peacekeepers to Somalia to boost AMISOM’s 6,100-strong peacekeeping force, a Ugandan army commander announced Wednesday. Ugandan Lt. Gen. Katumba Wamala said the deployment was in fulfillment of the country’s pledge following a decision by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in July of this year. He also said that another 250 peacekeepers would be deployed in the near future.  Burundi is to deploy its pledged troops next month to fulfill the 8,000 troop AMISOM mandate.[11]

  •  Somali officials are now looking to pirates to assist in the government’s fight against al Shabaab militants, according to a New York Times report, while pirate gangs attempt to create alliances with both militants and government forces. The report states that while local officials in Hobyo had deputized pirate gangs to block out al Shabaab from coastal villages, another pirate gang down the beach in Harardhere recently agreed to split their ransoms with al Shabaab and Hizb al Islam.[12]

  •  The European Union announced Wednesday an additional pledge of 47 million euros to support AMISOM peacekeeping efforts in Somalia. This brings EU aid to AMISOM to 142 million euros since 2007. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said in a statement that “AMISOM remains crucial to prevent a severe further downfall in the security of Somalia and has proven to be key to the creation of minimum security pre-conditions for dialogue and reconciliation.”[13]

[1] “U.S. Funding Boost is Sought for Yemen Forces,” The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2010. Available:
[2] "Weapons and ammunition seized in Amran," Saba Net, September 1, 2010. Available:
[3] “Tribal kidnappers release brother of Judicial Council’s head,” News Yemen, September 1, 2010. Available:
[4] “Leader of al Qaeda in Mareb renounces agreement with government,” News Yemen, September 1, 2010. Available:
[5] “Int’l community has full confidence in Yemeni efforts on terrorism: FM,” Saba Net, September 2, 2010. Available:
[6] “In Mogadishu, a Reprieve in Fighting,” New York Times, September 1, 2010. Available:
[7] “al Shabaab Tells of Air Raid Fears,” Daily Nation, September 1, 2010. Available:
[8] “Senior Somaliland security officer killed in Las Anod,” Garowe Online, September 1, 2010. Available:
[9] “Journalist cruelly murdered in Galkayo,” Somaliweyn Media Center, September 1, 2010. Available:
[10] “Minn. Somalis meet with FBI, denounce al Shabaab,” Associated Press, September 2, 2010. Available:
[11] “Uganda deploys another 750 peacekeepers in Somalia,” Somaliweyn Media Center, September 2, 2010. Available:
[12] “In Somali Civil War, Both Sides Embrace Pirates,” The New York Times, September 2, 2010. Available:
[13] “E.U. disburses €47 million for peace effort in Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, September 2, 2010. Available:
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