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 monitoring team gives Hadi government and al Houthi movement one week to respond to al Hudaydah withdrawal plan; al Houthi movement leader and President Hadi express conflicting views on the implementation of the Stockholm agreement; Islamic State claims IED attack targeting AQAP in al Bayda governorate; militants assassinate deputy director of al Qatn district in Hadramawt governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab fighters ambush Islamic State in El Adde; al Shabaab IED targets border guards in Mandera, Kenya; Jubbaland state president announces new offensive against al Shabaab; car bomb injures civil servant in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

The head of the UN monitoring team in al Hudaydah, Dutch Major General Patrick Cammaert, asked representatives from Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government and the al Houthi movement to respond to a proposed plan to implement the withdrawal from al Hudaydah port and city by January 1. Cammaert’s team presented the plan to the representatives on December 26.[1]

Leader of the al Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al Houthi stated that the Stockholm Agreement does not require the al Houthi movement to relinquish control of al Hudaydah port during an interview with al Jazeera on December 25. Al Houthi stated that the movement only agreed to allow a UN team to monitor the port. President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi stated that the Stockholm Agreement requires the al Houthi movement to transfer the port to legitimate local authorities during a meeting with his parliament on December 27.[2]

The Islamic State in Yemen claimed its militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in Wadi ‘Ana, northwestern al Bayda governorate, central Yemen on December 26. The Islamic State and AQAP claimed several attacks targeting each other in al Bayda between December 19 and 26.[3]

Militants assassinated the deputy director of security for al Qatn district in central Hadramawt, eastern Yemen on December 23. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. AQAP has historically maintained a stronghold in central Hadramawt and has assassinated security officials in al Qatn on several occasions.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab fighters ambushed Islamic State militants near the Kenyan border in El Adde, Gedo region, Somalia on December 22.  The ambush occurred after al Shabaab called on its fighters to target the “disease” of the Islamic State in Somalia.[5]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting border guards in Mandera, Mandera County, Kenya. This is the first al Shabaab attack in Kenya since mid-October. Al Shabaab also claimed several other attacks targeting regional security forces and police in Somalia’s Puntland, Middle Shabelle, and Gedo regions since last week.[6]

Jubbaland state president Ahmed Madobe announced a new offensive to flush out al Shabaab from its remaining strongholds on December 26. Madobe said Jubbaland Security Forces will begin with liberating the regional capital Bu’aale.[7]

A likely al Shabaab car bomb injured a civil servant near the Immigration headquarters in Waberi district, Mogadishu on December 27.[8]

[1] “Cammaert gives the parties in Yemen until Tuesday to respond with withdrawal from Hudaydah,” Al Mashhad al Araby, December 27, 2018,,15700021,15700124,15700186,15700191,15700201,15700237,15700242,15700248&usg=ALkJrhh9A2EdM_ck5hYwlH-f1ytPkZ0Drw.

[2] “President of the Republic meets with members of parliament and discusses paid salaries and al Hudaydah,” President of the Republic of Yemen, December 27, 2018,; and “Mohammed al Houthi: We want a united and democratic Yemen,” Naser Shakeh and Faisal Edroos, Al Jazeera, December 25, 2018,

[3] Dr. Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, December 26, 2018,

[4] “Assassination of the Deputy Director of al Qatn district in Wadi Hadramawt,” al Masdar Online, December 23, 2018,

[5] “Islamic State fights with Al Shabaab near Kenyan border town,” Mareeg, December 23, 2018,

[6] “After two month absence, Shabaab resumes operations in Kenya with attack in Mandera,” SITE Intelligence Group, December 26, 2018, English translation available by subscription at

[7] “Jubbaland announces new offensive against Al-Shabaab,” Radio Shabelle, December 27, 2018,

[8] Harun Maruf, Twitter, December 27, 2018,; Garowe Online, Twitter, December 27, 2018,; and “Car Bomb explosion at Waberi, Mogadishu,” Goobjoog, December 27, 2018,

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