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Gulf of Aden Security Review - May 2, 2012
Critical Threats
Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Yemen: Airstrike kills 15 Ansar al Sharia militants near Lawder; gunmen attack employees of French oil firm Total; Hadi appoints new dean of the College of Aviation and Air Defense; mortar attack kills civilians in Abyan

Horn of Africa: Suicide bomber in Dhusamareb kills two Somali parliamentarians, and Mogadishu car bomb kills two people; TFG commander in Lower Jubba expects Afmadow to fall within two days; Lt. General Andrew Gutti takes over as commander of AMISOM; al Shabaab arrests four people in Afgoi; U.S. military steps up AMISOM training in Uganda

Yemen Security Brief

    Yemeni military officials reported that 15 Ansar al Sharia militants were killed in an airstrike on a training camp north of Jaar in Abyan governorate.[1]

    Five masked gunmen wounded two employees, a Frenchman and a Yemeni, of the French oil company Total and killed a Yemeni soldier escorting them in an attack outside of Sayun in Hadramawt governorate on May 1. They pulled up alongside the Total employees’ car and opened fire. The Yemeni employee, Suhail al Jawfi, later succumbed to his injuries. Security officials blamed the attack on al Qaeda-linked militants.[2]

    President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi appointed Brigadier General Abdullah Qasim Saleh al Juneid the new Dean of Faculty of the College of Aviation and Air Defense. He is succeeding Brigadier General Hamoud al Sheikh, against whom there were widespread protests.[3]

    A woman and her two children were killed in an Ansar al Sharia mortar attack on Lawder in Abyan governorate on May 1.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

    Eyewitnesses reported a suicide bombing in Dhusamareb in Galgudud region that killed six people including at least two Somali MPs. The bomber reportedly entered a restaurant where the Somali MPs were discussing establishing a regional administration. In a separate incident, a witness reported that a car bomb in Mogadishu killed two people. Both attacks were claimed by al Shabaab.[5]

    Mohamed Farah, a Somali military commander in Lower Jubba region, stated that Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces have completely surrounded Afmadow. Farah added that he expects Afmadow to fall within two days.[6]

    Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti took command of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces. Ambassador Rodney Kiwa, head of the African Union “Focal Point on Somalia,” stated, “Lieutenant General Gutti… will lead AMISOM troops in the ongoing battle to bring peace and prosperity to the Somali people. With the support of the international community, AMISOM will continue to work towards the restoration of peace and freedom of movement for Somalia in the near future, which is critical for the progress in the global fight against terrorism and aspirations for regional stability.”[7]

    Witnesses reported that al Shabaab arrested four businessmen and elders in Afgoi in Lower Shabelle region for having alleged ties to the TFG.[8]  

    The U.S. military has reportedly been training AMISOM troops in urban warfare in Uganda. Major Albert Conley, deputy chief of the office of security cooperation for the U.S. military in Uganda, stated that “We need to help (the Ugandan forces) with, specifically mobility and counter-mobility as they move along these routes outside of Mogadishu."[9]           


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