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: President Hadi capitulates to al Houthi demands in Sana’a; car bombs target military officers in Sa’wan, Sana’a; al Houthis battle tribes in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab targets visiting Turkish delegation; clan violence continues in Hiraan region

Yemen Security Brief

  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi reached an agreement on January 21 with al Houthi militants to end the standoff in the capital Sana’a. President Hadi capitulated to al Houthi demands to amend the new draft constitution and give the al Houthis and Southern Movement more representation in state institutions. The al Houthis agreed to release President Hadi’s chief of staff whom they had kidnapped and withdraw from the Presidential Palace. The al Houthis, however, stated they will only carry out their end of the deal after President Hadi fulfills his obligations. [1]
  • A car bomb targeting security officials detonated and another bomb was defused in Sa’wan, east of Sana’a on January 22, resulting in no casualties. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.[2]
  • Tribal forces clashed with al Houthi militants near Sirwah, Ma’rib on January 22, resulting in an estimated six deaths. The al Houthis allegedly used weapons looted from the Presidential Protection Brigade in Sana’a in the fighting.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) on January 22 in Mogadishu targeting a Turkish delegation, resulting in an estimated five casualties but failing to harm the Turkish delegates. The attack occurred a day before the planned visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.[4]
  • Fighting between clan militias in Hiraan region which began on January 21 has resulted in at least 23 deaths. Similar fighting occurred last year but was stopped when security forces moved into the area.[5]

[1] “President reaches agreement to end violent standoff in capital,” SABA, January 22, 2015.  Available:
“Hadi and Houthis release agreement,” Yemen Times, January 22, 2015. Available:
[2] “Bomb exploded and another dismantled in the capital,” Barakish, January 22, 2015 [Arabic].  Available:
[3] “Six killed in clashes between al Houthis and tribal militants in outskirts of Ma’irb,” Barakish, January 22, 2015 [Arabic].  Available:
“Looted military vehicles arrive in Ma’rib, start clashes between al Houthis and local tribes,” yaspr, January 22, 2015 [Arabic].  Availabe:
[4] “Update 2-Bomb explodes near Turkish Delegation in Somalia day before President’s visit,” Reuters, January 22. Available:
“Suicide attack in Mogadishu ahead of Turkish president visit Friday,” The East African, January 22. Available:
[5] “At least 23 killed in Somalia clan violence,” Hiraan Online, January 22. Available:
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