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: Hadi government-aligned forces accuse al Houthis of waging offensive in al Hudaydah; Omani Foreign Minister hopeful for peace in Yemen
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attempts to destroy telecoms mast in eastern Kenya; al Shabaab attacks Kenyan AMISOM base in Lower Jubba region; Djiboutian AMISOM troops shoot protestors in Hiraan region; Somali security forces arrest al Shabaab militant in Mogadishu; US and Sudan to exchange ambassadors after 23-year gap
Yemen Security Brief
Hadi government-aligned forces accused the al Houthi movement on December 3 of initiating a new offensive in port city in western Yemen. The al Houthi movement allegedly moved forces to Duraimi district in the south of the city, placed new landmines and deployed military vehicles to the city, and attacked areas in between UN-administered checkpoints. The al Houthi movement has not commented on these claims.
Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alawi stated on December 3 that there is an opportunity to end the Yemeni civil war. Alawi stated that all parties to the conflict “agree that it is time to resolve this conflict.” Oman is mediating indirect cease-fire negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the al Houthis, according to multiple media reports.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
Al Shabaab attacked a telecommunications mast in the Diiso area of in eastern Kenyan on December 4. Militants damaged the mast, but Kenyan security forces forced the militants to retreat before they could destroy it.
Al Shabaab attacked a base manned by Kenyan forces serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Jubbaland Security Forces in area in Lower Jubba region in southern Somalia on December 4.
Djiboutian AMISOM forces shot and killed a civilian protester and injured two others in town in Hiraan region in central Somalia on December 3. Protests began after the appointment of a new town mayor.
Somali security forces arrested an al Shabaab militant as he attempted to conduct a grenade attack in Somalia’s capital, , on December 4.
The US and Sudan agreed to initiate the process of exchanging ambassadors for the first time in 23 years on December 4. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who has led Sudan’s transitional government since August, is currently in Washington for meetings with US officials.
 “Ansarallah forces mobilizing for new offensive in Hodeidah: Yemeni Army,” Al Masdar News, December 4, 2019, https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/ansarallah-forces-mobilizing-for-new-offensive-in-hodeidah-yemeni-army/; “Houthi defies UN surveillance and attacks lines of contact east of Hodeidah,” AdenLang, December 4, 2019, http://adnlng.info/news/133132/.
 Al Sherbini, Ramadan, “Oman says there is a ‘real opportunity’ to end the Yemen war,” Gulf News, December 3, 2019, https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/yemen/oman-says-there-is-a-real-opportunity-to-end-the-yemen-war-1.68247066; and “Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s Houthi rebels in indirect peace talks,” Associated Press, November 13, 2019, https://apnews.com/cb393079f7be48d2951b3ae3f2d4361b.
 Mbataru, Samuel, “Police Bravely Thwart Al Shabaab Ambush,” Kenyans, December 4, 2019, https://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/47321-polices-quick-move-thwarts-unprecedented-al-shabab-move.
 “Heavy fighting as Al-Shabaab attacks Kenyan troops in southern Somalia,” Somali Affairs, December 4, 2019, https://www.somaliaffairs.com/news/heavy-fighting-as-al-shabaab-attacks-kenyan-troops-in-southern-somalia/.
 Tuuryare, Abdirisak, “1 dead as AU troops fire on protester in Somalia,” Mareeg, December 3, 2019, https://mareeg.com/1-dead-as-au-troops-fire-on-protester-in-somalia/.
 “Grenade Wielding Al-Shabaab suspect arrested in Mogadishu,” Hiiraan, December 4, 2019, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2019/Dec/166335/grenade_wielding_al_shabaab_suspect_arrested_in_mogadishu.aspx.
 Pompeo, Michael R., “The United States to Elevate Diplomatic Representation with Sudan,” U.S. Department of State, December 4, 2019, https://www.state.gov/the-united-states-to-elevate-diplomatic-representation-with-sudan/; and “Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale’s Meeting with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok,” U.S. Department of State, December 4, 2019, https://www.state.gov/under-secretary-for-political-affairs-david-hales-meeting-with-sudanese-prime-minister-abdalla-hamdok/.