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: Security forces disrupt AQAP attack on al Mukalla port; UN Special Envoy insists that peace talks remain viable as government delegation leaves Kuwait; militants attack Hadi government checkpoint in Aden; al Houthi spokesman meets with Saudi ambassador about Saudi-Yemeni border tensions

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants conduct IED attack in Lamu, Lamu County, Kenya; al Shabaab militants apprehend seven elders for alleged spying in Berhani village, Lower Shabelle region; clan violence kills at least 10 near Elbur town, Galgaduud region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Hadi government security forces and coalition forces disrupted a coordinated attack planned by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on al Mukalla port in Hadramawt governorate on August 2. AQAP militants attempted to attack the port with artillery and machine guns, while others approached the port by boat. Hadi-allied forces arrested some of the attackers, but others escaped.[1]
  • The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, insisted that the UN-led peace talks continue despite the departure of the delegation representing President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi from Kuwait for Riyadh on August 2. The Hadi delegation agreed to a peace proposal introduced by Ould Cheikh Ahmed on 28 July. The proposal stipulates that al Houthi-Saleh forces disarm and withdraw from Sana’a and its environs, Taiz governorate, and al Hudaydah governorate in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2216.[2]
  • Militants attacked a checkpoint in al Mansoura district, Aden governorate on August 2, killing at least one government soldier. The security situation in Aden continues to deteriorate as security groups skirmish with one another and AQAP and Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) militants assassinate Hadi government and local officials.[3]
  • Al Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam met with the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed al Jaber, and military leaders from both sides in an effort to de-escalate tensions along the Saudi-Yemeni border. Al Houthi fighters increased missile and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks targeting Saudi troops in recent weeks.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants planted an improvised explosive device (IED) that injured two Kenyans in Lamu in Lamu County, Kenya on August 1. A Kenyan policeman and construction worker stepped on the IED while constructing a wall meant to prevent al Shabaab militants from entering Kenya.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants apprehended seven local elders in Berhani village in Lower Juba region on August 1. The militants claimed the elders were cooperating with Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces and took them to an undisclosed location. Al Shabaab executed four men in Bulo Filey region on June 11 for allegedly cooperating with U.S. and AMISOM forces.[6]
  • Fighting amongst rival clans killed at least 10 individuals and wounded at least 30 others near Elbur town in Galgaduud region on August 1. The rival clans were disputing access to land and water access in the area. Clan violence continues to destabilize the security environment throughout Somalia.[7]

[1] "Thwarting a major attack by al Qaeda militants on al Mukalla's port," Barakish, August 2, 2016,
[2] "Ould Sheikh reveals the future of the Kuwait consultations after the departure of the government delegation," Barakish, August 2, 2016,
[3] "Soldier killed in an armed attack on a checkpoint in Aden," Barakish, August 2, 2016,
[4] “Kuwait: al Houthi delegation meets with the Saudi ambassador,” Barakish, August 2, 2016,
[5] “Two Kenyan Soldiers injured in Explosion in Lamu,” Goobjoog News, August 2, 2016,; and “Two People wounded in Lamu bomb Explosion,” Shabelle News, August 2, 2016,
[6] “Al-Shabaab arrest traditional elders in Southern Somalia,” Goobjoog News, August 2, 2016,; “Al Shabaab arrests several elders in southern Somalia,” Shabelle News, August 1, 2016,; and “Somalia’s al Shabaab says has executed four spies,” Reuters, June 11, 2016,
[7] “10 Killed in clan fighting in central Somalia,” Goobjoog News, August 2, 2016,; and “Clan battle kills 15, injures 36 in central Somalia,” Shabelle News, August 1, 2016,  
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