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: AQAP secures mediation from an unnamed Gulf state for kidnapped UN employees

Somalia: Al Shabaab temporarily captures a town in southern Somalia; UNSC approves new African Union mission to replace AMISOM


Yemen Security Brief:

Local sources reported that an unnamed Gulf state is now mediating between local authorities and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants to secure the release of kidnapped UN employees on March 31.[1] AQAP kidnapped five UN employees in Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on February 11.[2] AQAP first demanded mediation from an unidentified Gulf state on March 9.[3]

Somalia Security Brief:

Al Shabaab briefly captured Bulo Mareer in Marka district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on March 31. Al Shabaab overran two Somali National Army (SNA) bases, forcing the soldiers to flee to a nearby African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base on the outskirts of the town.[i] Al Shabaab then fired at least thirty mortars into the AMISOM base. Militants raised their flag, gave sermons, and talked with locals for several hours before voluntarily retreating.[ii]

The UN Security Council approved the new African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) to replace AMISOM on March 31.[iii] The original ATMIS agreement between the Somali Federal Government and African Union planned to introduce more police and civilian components to supplement military forces, focus more on joint operations, and implement phase out plan.[iv] The first nine months are scheduled transition AMISOM to ATMIS, the next nine months will focus on joint operations, the next nine months will be separate but simultaneous operations, and AU troops will drawdown and withdraw in the final seven months.

[1] @FaresALhemyari, Twitter, March 31, 2022,

[2] Liam Karr and Brian Carter, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 14, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 14, 2022,

[3] Christopher Muth and Max Ryabinin, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 9, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 9, 2022,

[i] Radio al Furqaan, “Al Shabaab seizes Bulo Marer and mortars hit foreign compound,” March 31,2022,

[ii] Sahan Global, “Somali Wire Issue Number 362,” April 1, 2022,

[iii] Al Jazeera, “UN authorises new AU mission in Somalia to dislodge armed groups,” April 1, 2022,

[iv] Brian Carter and Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 24, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 24, 2022,; Somali Dispatch, “Somalia, AU agree to form transitional force to replace Amisom,” January 23, 2022,

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