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: Ansar al Sharia attacks Zinjibar and Jaar in Abyan governorate; Hadi delegation demands release of prisoners by al Houthis; gunmen kidnap ICRC workers in Sana’a city
Horn of Africa: Puntland and Galmudug administrations sign ceasefire agreement; SNA and AMISOM forces captured Aysoor, Lower Jubba region; SNA forces attack al Shabaab training camp near Dinsor, Bay region; al Shabaab attacks SNA forces in Marko, Lower Shabelle region
Yemen Security Brief
- Ansar al Sharia, the militant arm of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), took control of two towns in Abyan governorate in southern Yemen on December 2. The two towns, Abyan’s regional capital Zinjibar and nearby Jaar, are 30 miles east of the key coalition-held port city of Aden. Reports indicate that Ansar al Sharia set up checkpoints around the cities and killed local militia leaders following the assault. AQAP briefly held both towns in 2011.
- A peace delegation from President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government submitted an amendment to the Geneva peace talks on December 2 requiring the al Houthis to release all political and military prisoners. Al Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdul Salam said that there is a near consensus among the al Houthis on the terms of the Geneva peace talks and al Houthi representatives will soon meet with the UN Special Envoy to Yemen to continue the dialogue.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that gunmen abducted two of its employees in Sana’a city on December 1. The captors later released one of the employees, a Yemeni man, but have yet to release the other captive, a Tunisian woman.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The leaders of Galmudug and Puntland administrations reached a ceasefire agreement on December 2 following weeks of ongoing clashes between their respective security forces in Galkayo, Mudug region. Somalia’s prime minister oversaw the mediation talks. The agreements itself calls for an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of security forces from battle positions. It also requires both parties to establish a dialogue committee in order to develop a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
- Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces recaptured the Lower Jubba region’s Aysoor village from al Shabaab on November 28. The attack was part of the Ugandan AMISOM contingent’s “Fagia Adui” operation, which is meant to clear al Shabaab from settlements and transit points leading to the Lower Jubba region’s Kismayo city.
- SNA forces attacked two al Shabaab training camps on December 2 near Dinsor, Bay region. The government forces killed at least ten militants in the attack and destroyed the training facilities. Additionally, the soldiers seized an unspecified number of assault rifles and other weapons.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked SNA bases on December 2 in Marko, Lower Shabelle region. The militants attacked SNA forces at one military base in the city and threw grenades at another base. Officials have yet to release casualty and damage figures.