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: Al Houthis participate in UN-led monitoring commission as ceasefire debate continues; coalition airstrikes target AQAP militants in al Hawta, Lahij; coalition airstrikes target al Houthi-Saleh military base  west of Sana’a; pro-Hadi forces reinforce positions near Nihm, Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Reported U.S. airstrike targets al Shabaab near Jilib, Middle Jubba region; SNA and AMISOM troops confiscate weapons and secure villages near Dinsor, Bay region; Galmudug Federal State to try captured al Shabaab militants by military tribunal

Yemen Security Brief:

  • Al Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdul Salam announced on his Facebook page that the United Nations sent a draft ceasefire agreement to the al Houthis on April 7. Al Houthi leaders are debating the draft but have not yet reached a final decision, according to Abdul Salam. An al Houthi delegation participated in the first meeting of a UN-sponsored ceasefire monitoring committee in Kuwait City on April 7, after reportedly arriving from Riyadh. Representatives of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government also participated in the meeting. President  Hadi’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdul Malik Mikhlafi claimed that his government has prepared a semi-final draft of the ceasefire agreement and said that the ceasefire is set to begin in Taiz city and Hajjah governorate. The UN-backed ceasefire is scheduled to begin on April 10 before a new round of peace talks, which are set to begin on on April 18 in Kuwait.[1]
  • Saudi-led coalition helicopters targeted suspected al Qaeda militants at a farm in al Hawta in Lahij governorate  on April 7. No casualties have been reported. The coalition is conducting an airstrike campaign against AQAP in southern Yemen.[2]
  • Saudi-led coalition warplanes targeted an al Houthi-Saleh military base west of the capital Sana’a on April 7.  The airstrikes are the first in the capital after several days of calm.[3]
  • Forces loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi reinforced positions in northwestern Ma’rib and southwestern al Jawf near Nihm, Sana’a on April 7. Pro-Hadi forces arrived in Nihm from the al Wadia border crossing on April 6.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

  • A reported U.S. airstrike targeted an al Shabaab-controlled settlement near Jilib in the Middle Jubba region in southern Somalia on April 6. Local reports also claimed that foreign special operations forces deployed from a helicopter shortly after the strike and engaged al Shabaab militants on the ground. No casualties were reported. Neither the Pentagon nor al Shabaab have confirmed the attack.[5
  • Somali National Army (SNA) and Ethiopian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops secured several small villages near Dinsor in the Bay region on April 7. The Bay region district commissioner said that the contingent also confiscated several weapons caches during the security operations. The Interim Southwest Administration (ISWA) announced the launch of a  large-scale operation to clear al Shabaab militants from the region early last month, but has reported little progress until now. [6]
  • The Galmudug Federal State administration announced that it will employ a military tribunal system to try the al Shabaab militants captured last month during a failed incursion into northern Somalia. Galmudug security forces captured at least 15 militants, including two Kenyans and a Tanzanian, after  Puntland Defense Forces drove them into Galmudug territory. The Galmudug State Security Minister added that children captured fighting with the militants would be processed separately because they are not considered legal combatants under international law.[7]

[1] Conflicting parties in Yemen receive a ceasefire draft from the United Nations,” Al Masdar, April 7,2016 “al Houthis: We have received a draft ceasefire,” Barakish, April 7,2016 and “Ceasefire committee meeting in Kuwait after the arrival of al Houthi representatives from Riyadh,” Barakish, April 7,2016,
[2] “Witnesses of ‘Al Masdar Online’: Coalition helicopters change on al Qaeda gunmen societies north of the city al Hawta,” Al Masdar, April 7,2016,
[3] “Coalition airstrikes targeted a military supply base west of the capital Sana’a,” Al Masdar, April 7,2016,  
[4] Mohammed Basha, Twitter, April 7,2016,   
[5] “Foreign forces raid Al shabaab stronghold in Somalia,” Shabelle News, April 7, 2016,; “An airstrike targets Shabab leaders in southern Somalia,” Mogadishu Center for Research and Studies, April 7, 2016,
[6] SNA and AMISOM push out Al shabaab from fresh villages,” Shabelle News, April 7, 2016,    
[7] “Galmudug state to try al Shabaab prisoners in a military tribunal,” Goobjoog News, April 7, 2016,  
View Citations
Arrow down red
May '16
Apr '16
Mar '16