Gulf of Aden
Yemen: Eritrea denies training al Houthi fighters; Yemeni government to release newspaper staffers; 95 Somali and Ethiopian refugees land in Yemen; U.S. provides $4.9M for displaced persons in Sa’ada
Horn of Africa: 27 dead, 40 wounded in central Somalia clashes; 5 left decapitated in Mogadishu; Liberian vessel hijacked south of Oman; 21 Somali youths stranded in Moscow airport; TFG closes two Mogadishu radio stations and then reopens them; radio stations ignore government threat of closure; Somalia ranks #2 on CPJ’s 2010 Impunity Index
Yemen Security Brief
- The Eritrean government denied that their military camps had been used to train both al Houthi fighters in Yemen and Islamist militants in Somalia. The Eritrean government claims that the rumors of foreign fighters training on their soil are misconceptions perpetrated by Western countries.
- The Yemeni government has agreed to release three staff members of al Ayyam newspaper. The three men, Hani Hisham Bashraheel, Mohammed Hisham Bashraheel and Arhab Hassan Yassin were arrested on January 6th during riots in Aden. The men were released on the condition that the newspaper respects Yemen’s law and constitution.
- 95 new refugees from African countries have been arrested after coming ashore in recent days. Nine Ethiopians were detained after coming ashore in Taiz governorate, while 86 Somalis came ashore in Hadramawt governorate. All of the refugees were turned over to UNHCR.
- The U.S. has agreed to provide $4.9 million in financial assistance to help displaced persons in northern Yemen. Over 250,000 Yemeni citizens were displaced by the recent violence between the Yemeni government and al Houthi rebels. The money was awarded to the UNHCR to fund ongoing refugee assistance programs in Sa’ada, Hajjah, and Amran governorates.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Fighting between al Shabaab and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a in parts of the Galgudud and Bakool regions in south central Somalia has left 27 dead, and 40 wounded. Local residents claim al Shabaab initiated the attacks and met strong resistance from Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a. While al Shabaab has declared victory in the two regions, government officials were quick to denounce their claims.
- The decapitated bodies of five builders were found in Mogadishu. Local residents suspect al Shabaab is responsible for their executions because the builders were helping construct Somalia’s new parliament.
- The Panamanian Flagged, Liberian owned, vessel, M/V Voc Daisy, was hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, 190 nautical miles East South East of Salalah, Oman.
- 21 Somali youths are trapped inside Moscow International Airport after allegedly being conned by a stranger who told them they were flying Canada. The unidentified man left the youths stranded in Moscow after making off with all of their money. The 21 Somalis have allegedly been stranded in Moscow International for a month.
- The TFG closed two FM radio stations in Mogadishu; however in a press release, Dahir Mohamud Gelle, Somali Minister of Information Affairs, stated the TFG had decided reverse its decision and reopen the stations because “[it] could not tolerate the media to be pressed.”
- Despite being ordered to play music or be shut down by the TFG, the Somaliweyn and Tusmo radio stations are refusing government orders.
- The Committee to Protect Journalists has released its 2010 Impunity Index ranking Somalia #2 in terms of getting away with journalist murders. Somalia received a rating of 1.000, meaning 9 unsolved cases for its 9 million population.