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: Two al Qaeda militants and one police officer killed in Sana’a; al Qaeda militants reportedly escaped from Hawta; 10 separatists arrested in Lahij governorate; Yemeni Information Minister says foreign intervention caused northern and southern unrest

Horn of Africa: UN Special Representative to Somalia calls for a UN peacekeeping mission; 13 die in boat capsizing off Somali coast; four dead in parliament bombing; Somaliland interior minister seeks increased cooperation with Puntland; pirate sentenced to death in Puntland court; al Shabaab leaders heighten security in Marka; hundreds of refugees from Mogadishu fighting face vast humanitarian issues

Yemen Security Review

  • Two al Qaeda suspects and one police officer were killed when a grenade detonated in the Mathbah neighborhood of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, on Monday, reported a security source.  The explosion took place as the police officer was trying to disable the grenade, which was in the possession of one of the al Qaeda militants, during a raid on a home believed to be a hideout for the al Qaeda cell in Mathbah.[1]
  • Colonel Mansur Hadi, the Security Director of Mayfaa district in Abyan governorate said that al Qaeda militants escaped from the town of Hawta in Shabwah governorate to the nearby Salmoon mountain.[2]
  • Yemeni security forces arrested 10 separatists on Monday accused of involvement in anti-government activities in Lahij, reported the Interior Ministry.  These activities included encouraging people to burn tires and cut off roads during protests.[3]
  • Yemeni Information Minister Hassan al Lawzi said that the al Houthi rebellion and the Southern Movement resulted from foreign intervention in Yemen.  He also said that Yemen has ties to the U.S. government that “are strong, but not [at] the expense of the Palestinian people and national interests.”[4]

Horn of Africa Security Review

  •  Augustine Mahiga, the UN Special Representative to Somalia, said that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon seeks first to establish humanitarian activies in Somalia and then to deploy a UN peacekeeping force.  Mahiga said, “We have all seen how the international community has rallied behind the governments in Iraq and Afghanista.  Somalia is no exception; it requires similar massive interventions.”[5]
  • A broken-down boat full of refugees off the coast of Somalia suddenly capsized Monday, killing at least 13 passengers and leaving another 8 passengers unaccounted for.  The refugees were receiving humanitarian aid, such as food and water, from the USS Winston Churchill, a Navy warship, when the boat suddenly overturned and sent all 85 passengers overboard.  The UN reports that approximately 74,000 Africans, primarily from Somalia and Ethiopia, fled to Yemen in 2009.[6]
  • At least four people have been confirmed dead in the bombings at parliament in Mogadishu on Monday.  The fighting later spread to Bakara market, killing another three people.[7]
  • Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gabose, Somaliland’s new interior minister, appealed for continued and increased cooperation with neighboring Puntland at a press conference in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa, on Sunday.  Dr. Gabose said, “Somaliland and Puntland share many things that cannot be hidden or denied based on brotherhood for the common interests of both.  From now on, we want to on security matters because it seems there are anti-peace groups who want to threaten our peace.”[8]
  • Salah Mohamed Gelle, the ringleader of a group of pirates, has been sentenced to death by a Puntland court for killing Sayid Jacfar, the Pakistani skipper of a pirate-hijacked cargo ship in early June.  The seven other pirates who took part in the attack were sentenced to jail terms between 10 and 17 years.[9]
  • Al Shabaab leaders have heightened their security in the coastal town of Marka after a helicopter attack narrowly missed the home where leaders were meeting.   Al Shabaab leaders have deployed heavily armed militias with anti-aircraft missiles to the coastal town and have confiscated the mobile telephones of reporters in the area so that they are not able to report on the incident.[10]
  • Hundreds of refugees have fled Mogadishu during the latest round of fighting between TFG and AMISOM forces and al Shabaab.  These refugees are now facing great humanitarian issues.  Clan leaders and elders in the neighboring Lower Shabelle region have asked humanitarian organizations and businesses in the area to come to their aid.[11]

[1] “Two al-Qaeda, Police Officer Killed in Ambush in Sana’a,” Yemen Observer, September 27, 2010. Available:
[2] “Al-Qaeda Eludes Capture in al-Huta,” Yemen Observer, September 28, 2010.  Available:
[3] “10 Separatists Arrested in South Yemen,” Xinhua News Agency, September 27, 2010. Available:
[4] “War with al-Houthis Result of Foreign Interference, Says Yemeni Official,” Saba News Agency, September 28, 2010.  Available:
[5]U.N. Envoy Proposes Somalia Peacekeeping Force,” Stars and Stripes, September 28, 2010.  Available:
[6] “Navy Says 13 Die During Rescue of Boat off Somalia,” AP, September 27, 2010. Available:
[7] “Somalia: Four People Dead in Mogadishu Clashes,” Sunatimes, September 27, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somaliland Appeals for ‘Cooperation with Puntland’ a Second Time,” Garowe Online, September 27, 2010. Available:
[9] “Pirate Ringleader Faces Execution in Somalia,” BBC, September 28, 2010. Available:
[10] “Somalia: Militants Panic in Merca,” Africa News, September 28, 2010. Available:
[11] “Somalia: Hundreds Starve Near Mogadishu,” Africa News, September 28, 2010. Available:
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