Yemen: Southern Movement militants clash with Yemeni forces near Habilain in Lahij governorate; senior security official survives suspected AQAP assassination; U.S. Secretary of State Clinton meets with officials in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab executes man for fratricide; health official released after several days in al Shabaab captivity; TFG police officers begin training in Kenya; three al Shabaab officials resist dismissal from their posts; al Shabaab bans women from work outside the home in Kismayo

Yemen Security Brief

  • Clashes between Southern Movement militants and Yemeni troops in the area between Lahij governorate killed between two and four soldiers, according to a local official.  Security officials said that “dozens of southern militants” were gathered for the upcoming Yemeni army offensive to regain control of the militant-occupied town of Habilain.  Yemeni troop reinforcements are now reported to be in al Malah, about 20 km from Habilain.  Yemeni forces have cut off the roads and communication networks “for security reasons.”[1]
  • A senior Hadramawt governorate security official was unharmed after a bomb exploded while he was driving to work. Experts noted that the attack “has all the hallmarks” of al Qaeda.[2]
  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh as well as opposition leaders.  Clinton told reporters, “Yemen recognizes the threat that AQAP poses to it, and it has become increasingly committed to a broad-based counterterrorism strategy.”  She also praised what she called an “increasingly, a very strong partnership” with Yemen in counterterrorism efforts, but added that it “is not enough to have military-to-military relations.”  According to Clinton, the Obama administration has “rebalanced” the aid package to Yemen, which will be $300 million in 2011 of combined military and non-military assistance.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab reported on the execution of man in Beled Hawo in the southern Gedo region.  Ali Hussein Irshad was convicted by an al Shabaab judge of fratricide and the sentence was carried out in front of “hundreds of Muslims.”[4]
  • The al Shabaab administration in Elbur district of the central Galgudud region released a health official, Mohammed Ahmed Dhuhulow, from custody.  He had been arrested last week.[5]
  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) police officers began training at an AMISOM facility in at the Kenya Wildlife Training School in Manyani through an initiative funded by the Italian government. 192 Somali officers will take a refresher training course.[6]
  • Three al Shabaab officials dismissed by al Shabaab from their posts in Bu’aale, the capital of the Middle Jubba region, refuse to relinquish power. The three men held posts as a security official, a welfare worker, and the head of the preaching department.  One of al Shabaab’s head officials for the Jubba region, Sheikh Abukar Ali Adam, has been dispatched to meet with the disaffected officials.[7]
  • The al Shabaab administration in the southern port-city of Kismayo banned women from work outside of the home, especially the sale of qat.[8]


[1] “Two Dead as Army Battles South Yemen Militants,” AFP, January 10, 2011. Available:
“Fierce Clashes Between the Army and the Separatists South of Yemen,” Yemen Online, January 10, 2011. Available: 
View Citations
[2] Saeed al Batati, “Yemen Shrugs Off Reports About Foreign Forces’ Deployment,” Arab News, January 11, 2011. Available:
[3] Mark Landler, “Clinton Arrives in Yemen Under Secrecy,” New York Times, January 11, 2011. Available: Joby Warrick, “Clinton Makes Unannounced Visit to Yemen,” Washington Post, January 11, 2011.  Available:
[4] “Shabaab Executes Somali who Committed Fratricide,” SITE Intel Group, January 10, 2011. Available at SITE.
[5] “After Days in Custody, Al Shabaab Releases Health Official,” Shabelle Media Network, January 11, 2011. Available:
[6] “Kenya: Somali Police Officers Commence Training in Nation,” All Africa, January 11, 2011. Available:
[7] “Al Shabaab Fires Three Officials From Office in Buale,” Mareeg, January 11, 2011. Available:
[8] “Al Shabaab Banns Women from Working,” Shabelle Media Network, January 11, 2011.  Available: