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: Geneva delegations agree to prisoner exchange; anti-al Houthi sources report rumored al Houthi ceasefire violations; pro-al Houthi sources report rumored coalition ceasefire violations
Horn of Africa: IED blats hits SNA convoy in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab attempts to attack passenger buses in Mandera County, Kenya; clan militiaman kills SNA commander in Beledweyne, Hiraan region
Yemen Security Brief
- Peace delegations from President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government and the al Houthi-Saleh alliance, currently meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, agreed to a prisoner exchange on December 16. The UN-encouraged confidence-building measure will take place in Lahij governorate in southern Yemen and will swap more than 360 pro-al Houthi military prisoners for 265 popular resistance civilians and fighters. Reports indicate that prisoners from each side are traveling by bus to an undisclosed meeting point. It is also rumored that the al Houthis will release Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mahmoud al Subaihi, President Hadi’s brother, and other political prisoners soon.
- Anti-al Houthi sources accused al Houthi militias of attacking popular resistance positions in al Jawf governorate in northern Yemen on December 15, in violation of the ceasefire. The same source also claims that al Houthis shelled popular resistance positions in Taiz city in southwestern Yemen on December 16.
- Pro-al Houthi sources reported that the Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes on December 16 in several areas in Yemen, including Sa’ada governorate in northern Yemen and Taiz governorate in southwestern Yemen, in violation of the ceasefire.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- An improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Somali National Army (SNA) convoy detonated on December 16 in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region. The blast destroyed a military vehicle, killing one soldier and injuring five others. No groups claimed responsibility for the attack, although the target suggests al Shabaab.
- Al Shabaab militants attempted to ambush passenger buses traveling through Wargadud in Kenya’s northeastern Mandera County on December 15. Police escorting the buses engaged the militants, who fled. No casualties were reported.
- An unspecified clan’s militiaman killed a SNA commander on December 16 in Beledweyne, Hiraan region. The victim was in charge of SNA regiments sent to the city to stop an ongoing conflict between rival clans that began on December 11. The perpetrator was detained by government forces.