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 to receive four AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven UAVs; President Hadi meets with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan in Washington, D.C.; Friends of Yemen donors pledge $1.4 billion to the Yemeni Transitional Program for Stabilization and Development; Yemeni security officials detain son of Southern Movement commander
Horn of Africa: Kenyan and AMISOM troops launch amphibious offensive on Kismayo; grenade attack injures four in Mogadishu; Somali journalist beheaded in Mogadishu; one killed and several kidnapped in Galgudud region
Yemen Security Brief
- An unidentified Yemeni military official reported on September 26 that Yemen will receive four AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven UAVs from the United States. The RQ-11 Raven, weighing roughly 4.5lbs, is a remote-operated, unmanned-aerial vehicle that is used for surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Yemen’s U.S.-trained counterterrorism units are expected to deploy the RQ-11 UAV in their battle against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
- Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan on September 28 in Washington, D.C. Both sides discussed security developments in Yemen.
- A number of countries and donors participated in the Friends of Yemen meeting in New York on September 27, pledging monetary assistance to the Yemeni Transitional Program for Stabilization and Development (TPSD). Kuwait and Qatar each offered roughly $500 million to finance development and humanitarian-related projects in Yemen. After the meeting, Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour al Hadi called the Friends of Yemen meeting a “success”, stating that donations exceeded $1.4 billion.
- Yemeni security officials at Sana’a International Airport detained the son of Southern Movement Commander Mohammad Saleh Tamah on September 28. According to local sources, the commander’s son, Qased Mohammad Saleh Tamah, was detained for unspecified reasons.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Kenyan and AMISOM troops launched a long awaited attack on al Shabaab’s last stronghold of Kismayo on September 27. The city has been under al Shabaab control for the last five years and it has been the center of al Shabaab’s activity in addition being a source of funding through its imports for the group. Kenya first entered Somalia in October 2011 with the intent of taking Kismayo. This offensive, launched one year later, was a joint amphibious and air assault by Kenyan and other AMISOM troops. Four military ships supported by several aircrafts landed on a beach 10km north of the city. Kenyan military spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna has claimed that his troops have taken much of the city and would seize the rest shortly. AMISOM commander Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti’s assessment of the takeover is not as aggressive as Col. Oguna’s, alleging that the AMISOM forces have just entered the city. Al Shabaab denies any presence of its enemy’s troops inside the city, saying that its troops are fighting them on the beach where the Kenyan ships landed and that the Kenyan and AMISOM soldiers are still 9km away from the center of the city. Many civilians have claimed that they have not seen any Kenyan or AMISOM forces inside Kismayo, but that they do hear bombs and gunfights outside the city limits near the beach. Al Shabaab’s radio station, Radio Andalus, is still broadcasting and calling on those in the city to take up arms and join the jihad. So far there are ten reported troop deaths and three reported civilian injuries however, the real number of casualties is sure to be higher.
- A grenade attack targeted a vehicle carrying Somali government troops in Mogadishu on September 27. The attack injured three soldiers and the assailant. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
- A journalist was beheaded in the Heliwa district of Mogadishu on September 28. The journalist, who worked as an online reporter, is the fifth journalist to be killed this week in Mogadishu and the fourteenth journalist to be killed this year. Those who carried out the attack have not been caught and no one has claimed responsibility.
- A local businessman was killed in Balanbale town of the Galgudud region of Somalia after the vehicle he was riding in was attacked by bandits who kidnapped him and several other businessmen before shooting one of them. The other men are still missing and those responsible for the attack have not been caught. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the assault and kidnapping.