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. pledges support to Yemen; 8,000 southerners protest Yemeni unity; UNHCR reports on displacement in Hawta in Shabwah governorate
Horn of Africa: 30 people dead and 75 others wounded in Mogadishu fighting; AU appeals for increased forces in Somalia; Ugandan peacekeeper killed in Mogadishu; Somali pirates sentenced to prison terms
Yemen Security Brief
- Ali al Ahmadi, the governor of Shabwah governorate, denied reports that the U.S. had drones in Yemen. Unnamed U.S. defense officials reported that the Obama administration is considering sending military drones to Yemen. Top U.S. security advisor John Brennan pledged American support to Yemen in its struggle to rid the country of al Qaeda militants.
- Approximately 8,000 people participated in protests against Yemeni unity across southern Yemen on Thursday. The Southern Movement reported that security officials arrested 12 of its members for their roles in planning the protests. A statement released by the group said, “resolving the southern cause is essential to resolving all problems facing Yemen… Any solution that does not stipulate a final settlement for south Yemen will be without any value.”
- The UNHCR reports that at least 4,000 residents of Hawta in Shabwah governorate have been displaced by the on-going clashes between government forces and al Qaeda militants.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Continued fighting between AMISOM forces and al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu has left 30 people dead and more than 75 others wounded. Ali Muse of Mogadishu’s ambulance service reported that these are the worst casualties Mogadishu has seen in months. Both sides have claimed victory over the fighting.
- African Union executive chairman Jean Ping appealed for funds to increase the size of the AU force in Somalia from the current 8,000 troops to 20,000 troops at a high-level summit organized by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He said that Uganda is ready to send the necessary soldiers to Somalia, all that is needed is money to pay and equip them. 
- An Islamist attack on African Union forces near Somalia’s parliament building left one Ugandan peacekeeper dead and two wounded. African Union’s spokesman Major Ba-Hoku Barigye reports that AU forces successfully defeated rebel forces in the clash.
- Seven Somali men were sentenced to five years in prison for a May 2009 hijacking of a Spanish ship in the Gulf of Aden.