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 launch projectiles into Saudi territory; security forces in Aden implement measures to curb assassinations

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants storm Mogadishu hotel; Kenyan police warn of al Shabaab recruitment in western Kenya; Ethiopian Prime Minister receives Nobel Peace Prize

Yemen Security Brief

The al Houthi movement struck a hospital with projectiles near the Yemeni border in Jizan region in southwestern Saudi Arabia on December 10. A spokesman for the Saudi Civil Defense Directorate stated that the attack did not harm anyone but caused some damage to buildings.[1]

Saudi-led coalition-backed security forces have implemented new security measures in Yemen’s de facto capital, Aden, in recent days to curb a spike in assassinations. Security officials stated that masked gunmen have been conducting shootings on motorcycles in the city in recent weeks. Aden security forces consequently banned the use of motorcycles and carrying of weapons in the city. The Islamic State claimed two of the recent assassinations.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants attacked a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on December 10. Five militants stormed the upscale SYL hotel, which is located near the presidential palace, and holed up in the building as local security forces responded. Security forces secured the hotel and killed all five militants after a seven-hour gun battle. Two other people died in the attack.[3]

Kenyan police have begun investigating an al Shabaab recruitment cell in Siaya County in western Kenya. A local police official stated on December 9 that police had identified some of the individuals in the cell. The official warned that the risk of extremist recruitment is growing in western Kenya, citing the fact that Violet Kemunto, an al Shabaab operative involved in a January 2019 attack on a Nairobi hotel, hailed from nearby Kisii County.[4]

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm, Sweden on December 10. Abiy, who took power in 2018, received the prize in recognition of his work to end a long-standing conflict with neighboring Eritrea as well as his efforts to open up Ethiopia’s political space. Abiy credited his time as a soldier in the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict as driving his desire for peace.[5]

Visit our YemenSaudi Arabia,  KenyaEthiopia, and Somalia, storystreams.

[1] “Al Houthi projectiles land in Saudi hospital,” Gulf News, December 11, 2019,; “Projectiles from Yemeni territories reach Al Harith hospital: Saudi Civil Defense,” Emirates News Agency, December 11, 2019,

[2] “Spotlight: Tightened security measures in Yemen’s Aden to curb spike of assassinations,” Xinhua, December 10, 2019,

[3] Nor, Omar, “Al-Shabaab claims attack on elite hotel in Mogadishu,” CNN, December 10, 2019,; “Al-Shabab Militants Attack Mogadishu Hotel,” VOA, December 10, 2019,; and “Somalia: Seven dead in Mogadishu hotel attack,” Mareeg, December 11, 2019,

[4] “Police investigate terror cell recruiting youths in Siaya,” Daily Nation, December 11, 2019,

[5] Keyton, David and Heintz, Jim, “Nobel winner Abiy says ‘hell’ of war fueled desire for peace,” AP, December 10, 2019,

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