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: WFP convoys deliver food to Taiz city; al Houthis submit list of delegates for Geneva talks; Amnesty International accuses Saudi Arabia of deliberately targeting schools

Horn of Africa: SNA forces clear al Shabaab bases in Warabow, Bay region; SNA forces clash with militiamen in Marko, Lower Shabelle region; gunmen assassinate security personnel in Beledweyne, Hiraan region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Two convoys from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) delivered food supplies to civilian residents in Taiz city in central Yemen on December 11. The convoys brought enough food to feed 145,000 people for one month. The al Houthi-Saleh forces in the area have restricted humanitarian aid deliveries to Taiz for months, often accusing aid organizations of attempting to smuggle weapons to anti-al Houthi forces in the besieged city.[1]
  • Al Houthi officials submitted on December 10 a list of delegates for the UN-led Geneva peace talks set for December 15. They also confirmed their acceptance of the meeting’s drafted agenda and expressed their commitment to “serious and responsible dialogue.”[2]
  • Amnesty International released a report on December 11 accusing Saudi Arabia of deliberately targeting schools in Yemen as part of their bombing campaign against the al Houthi movement. The report said that the Saudi-led coalition directed airstrikes against five schools between August and October of 2015 and went on to claim that there was no evidence suggesting legitimate military targets at or near any of the schools.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces conducted clearing operations on December 10 in Warabow, Bay region. The joint forces clashed with al Shabaab militants as they cleared strongholds, killing up to ten militants before the rest fled. The government forces regained control of the settlement and seized the militants’ arms caches. Government officials said that three soldiers were killed in the operation.[4]
  • SNA forces attacked an unspecified militia’s base on December 11 in Marko, Lower Shabelle region and successfully took control of the base. It is unclear why the government forces attacked the militia members.[5]
  • Unidentified gunmen attacked security personnel on December 11 in Beledweyne, Hiraan region. The gunmen opened fire on a soldier and police officer in a restaurant, killing both, and then fled the scene. Police subsequently launched a manhunt in search of the gunmen. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.[6]

[1] “Two UN convoys with food for nearly 145,000 people reach Yemen city of Taiz,” Xinhua, December 11, 2015. Available:
[2] “Yemen’s Houthis say sent list of negotiators to U.N. for peace talks,” Reuters, December 10, 2015. Available:
[3] “Saudi coalition accused of Yemen schools,” Middle East Eye, December 11, 2015. Available:
[4] “Somalia: Six killed in heavy battle in Bay region,” Shabelle News, December 10, 2015. Available:
“Somalia: Al shabaab and SNA claim victory in fighting near Diinsoor,” Shabelle News, December 11, 2015. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Govt troops overran militiamen bases in Marko town,” Shabelle News, December 11, 2015. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Gunmen murder Two Govt Soldiers in Beledweyne,” Shabelle News, December 11, 2015. Available:
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