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: UN Security Council calls on negotiating parties to make interim security plan; reported U.S. airstrike kills AQAP militants in Abyan; suspected AQAP gunmen attack checkpoint in al Hawta, Lahij; AQAP militants attack pro-Hadi military positions in Wadi Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks SNA military outpost in Danunay, Bay region; al Shabaab attacks Wajid town, Bakool region; pro-ISIS Twitter account claims more operations to occur in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • The UN Security Council called on the al Houthis, the General People’s Congress (GPC) party led by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s delegation on April 25 to construct a road map for interim security measures that will support efforts to reach a permanent settlement. The map is to include withdrawals from seized territory, disarmament, and the rehabilitation of state institutions. The Council also asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to construct a plan within 30 days detailing how the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed will promote peace between the conflicting delegations in Yemen. Ould Cheikh Ahmed met with the leaders of the al Houthi-GPC and Hadi government delegations to examine a framework for the negotiations proposed by the UN. The framework will be discussed in the upcoming days.[1]
  • A reported U.S. airstrike targeted a car carrying al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in Abyan governorate on April 26. The vehicle was traveling between the cities Ja’ar and Zinjibar. The strike killed three AQAP members.[2]
  • Suspected AQAP gunmen fired on a checkpoint in al Hawta, Lahij governorate with machine guns and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). Yemeni forces loyal to President Hadi backed by Saudi-led coalition air support claimed to clear AQAP militants from al Hawta on April 15.[3]
  • AQAP militants attacked military positions of the 37th Brigade, which is loyal to President Hadi, and injured several soldiers in Sir and al Aqab, Wadi Hadramawt on April 26. Pro-Hadi forces killed and injured several AQAP militants in the ensuing clashes.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Danunay village near Baidoa in Bay region on April 26, wounding at least four soldiers and killing more than 10. An al Shabaab spokesperson claimed that militants ambushed a truck carrying supplies to the base near Manyafuul and killed at least 11 soldiers before attacking the base. The SNA Commander for Bay region reported that his forces killed 20 militants in the battle and that the militants withdrew after the attack.[5]
  • Al Shabaab reportedly launched a large assault on Wajid town in Bakool region on April 26. Local sources said that militants attacked several roadside checkpoints and military outposts before the SNA mobilized and defeated the attack. Initial estimates indicate that at least 12 militants were killed during the attack.   Al Shabaab confirmed the attack but did not release further details.[6]
  • An Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) fighter allegedly residing in Somalia tweeted a series of messages claiming that the group’s forthcoming attacks would “vex the Jews of the jihad,” in reference to the al Qaeda affiliated al Shabaab. The user, “Talmid Abu Nu’man,” challenged pro-al Shabaab Twitter profiles who said that no support for ISIS existed in Somalia. “Nu’man” asserted that ISIS has a large presence throughout Somalia. ISIS’s presence in Somalia is thought to be limited to the northern Puntland region, but the group also claimed an improvised explosive device (IED) attack on an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) vehicle near Mogadishu on April 24.[7]

[1] Yemen: Security Council calls for parties in talks to develop road map for security measures,” UN News Centre, April 25, 2016,
[2] “Death of members of al Qaeda in airstrike on a car in Abyan,” Barakish, April 26, 2016,
[3] “Al Qaeda gunmen attack a checkpoint in al Hawta,” Barakish, April 26, 2016
[4] “Violent clashes between the army and al Qaeda in Wadi Hadramawt,” Barakish, April 26, 2016,
[5] Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar, “Al Shabaab kills five at Somali military base: army captain,” Reuters, April 26, 2016,; “Al Shabaab overruns Somali Army military base in Baidoa, four soliders injured-military official,” April 26, 2016, and “At least 20 Al-Shabaab militants killed in heavy fighting in Somalia,” Xinhua News, April 26, 2016,
[6] “Somali army says it foiled Al shabaab attack on Wajid town,” Shabelle News, April 26, 2016, and  Shmuel Yousef Agnon, “Somali Force Thwart an Al-Shabaab Attack On Army Base in Wajid Town, Several Militants Killed,” Intelligence Briefs,  April 26, 2016,
[7] “IS FIGHTER IN SOMALIA CLAIMS “LARGE PRESENCE” OF GROUP THROUGHOUT COUNTRY,” SITE Intelligence Group, April 26, 2016, Source available by subscription through  
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