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 Special Envoy announces suspension of peace talks; reported U.S. airstrikes target AQAP militants in Shabwah; UN report says al Houthis and Saudi-led coalition violated human rights

Horn of Africa: Coalition of Somali political parties calls to replace current administration; suspected al Shabaab militants kill respected elder near Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, announced on August 5 that he will suspend peace talks in Kuwait on August 6. The delegation representing President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government accepted a draft proposal by Ould Cheikh Ahmed on July 31. The draft proposal prioritized the Hadi government’s demands, and al Houthi representatives rejected it.[1]
  • Reported U.S. airstrikes targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) positions near Azzan city, Shabwah governorate on August 4. The airstrikes struck an AQAP checkpoint and vehicle convoy.[2]
  • A UN report made public on August 4 indicated that al Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition violated international human rights law. The Saudi-led coalition intentionally targeted a civilian house in Lahij governorate on May 25, killing four civilians. Al Houthi forces used human shields in Taiz governorate by positioning fighters and supplies near civilian locations, according to the report. Experts presented the report to the UN Security Council. The Saudi-led coalition defended airstrikes targeting civilian locations on August 5, claiming that “armed militiamen” were present in the location of the strikes at the time. Mansour bin Ahmed al Mansour, spokesman for the coalition’s Joint Group to Assess Incidents, stated that “incomplete intelligence” caused civilian casualties in one in eight airstrikes during the last six months of 2015. Al Mansour, rejected allegations by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a civilian market in Nihm district, Sana’a governorate caused 73 civilian casualties.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A coalition of political parties called for an interim technocratic government to replace Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s administration in Mogadishu on August 5. The current Somali parliament amended the federal constitution on June 15 to extend its term indefinitely until the next elections. Opposition parties accuse the current administration of purposefully delaying the elections in order to stay in power.[4]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants killed a local elder in Arbiska village near Mogadishu on August 5. The elder played a prominent role in local clan reconciliation processes. Al Shabaab executed an elder accused of cooperating with the Somali government in Bay region on June 25.[5]

[2] “Al Qaeda deaths and injuries in American airstrike near Azzan city in Shabwah,” Barakish, August 4, 2016,
[3] “UN report says Saudi-led coalition and Houthis violate human rights in Yemen,” Agence France Press, August 5, 2016,; “The coalition refutes..and assesses border incidents” Okaz, August 5, 2016,; and “Saudi investigation largely defends deadly air strikes in Yemen,” Reuters, August 4, 2016,
[4] “Coalition Of Political Parties Calls For The Formation Of Interim Government,” Goobjoog News, August 5, 2016,
[5] “Traditional Elder Gunned Down in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, August 5, 2016,; and “Somali Elder killed outside Mosque near Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, August 5, 2016,
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