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: Al Houthis announce truce with Saudi Arabia; Saudi Arabia considering al Houthi truce; gunfire between Yemeni soldiers and unknown attackers leaves three soldiers dead; seven members of al Qaeda have been sentenced to 5-10 years in prison

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab claims responsibility for AU hospital bombing; Islamists and AU troops clash in Mogadishu; Yemen enforces tougher restrictions on Somali refugees; U.S. to take in 5,800 Somali refugees

Yemen Security Brief

  • Abdul Malik al Houthi, leader of the al Houthi insurgency, announced a ceasefire with Saudi Arabia on Monday. The rebel leader stated insurgents would withdraw from Saudi Arabia’s territory. He qualified the ceasefire by saying that the al Houthis would launch an open war on Saudi Arabia if Saudi did not halt its aggressions against the al Houthis in Yemen.[1]
  • While the spokesperson for the Saudi Defense Ministry deemphasized the significance of the al Houthi truce initiative, he stated Saudi Arabia was considering its acceptance and will make the final decision later today.[2]
  • Fighting between Yemeni military forces and unknown attackers in the Shabwa governorate left three soldiers dead. Fighting between the two forces broke out when unknown attackers opened fire on a military checkpoint in the province.[3]
  •  Seven members of al Qaeda were sentenced to 5-10 years in Yemeni prison. Suspected were accused of organizing an armed group to target Yemeni and foreign interests in the country, kill military and security leaders residing in the capital, and kidnapping tourists. [4]

Horn of Africa Brief

  • Al Shabaab took responsibility for bombing the African Union’s hospital, Halane centre, in Mogadishu. The bombing claimed the lives of soldiers, health officials, and civilians. Sheik Ali Mohamud, the spokesman of al Shabaab, stated the attack was a response to the killing of Somalis by AMISOM troops.[5]
  • Fighting between AMISOM and Islamist militants broke out in Mogadishu on Monday. Local residents claim the fighting started after Islamic militants attacked an AU base with heavy mortars and machine guns.[6]
  • Somali refugees in Yemen are becoming more alarmed with recent Yemeni efforts restricting their activity. After al Shabaab declared an exchange of militants between Somalia and Yemen, the Yemeni government cracked down on Somali refugees residing in the country. Recent Yemeni efforts have included registration deadlines, daily monitoring, checkpoints, and travel restrictions for refugees.[7]
  • The United States has agreed to take in 5,800 Somali refugees currently residing in the Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda. The move to the U.S. is due to the refugees failing to integrate with neighboring refugee groups living in Nakivale because of their language and culture. American taskforces have been studying and investigating the refugees in order to investigate ties to al Qaeda.[8]


[1] “Yemen Rebels Announce Truce with Saudi Arabia,” Sahwa Net, January 25, 2010. Available:
[2] “Kingdom Considering Houthi Truce Initiative,” Yemen Post, January 26, 2010. Available:
[3] “Three Yemeni Soldiers Killed; 30 Al-Qaeda Members Reported Dead,” Yemen Post, January 26, 2010. Available:
[4] “Seven al-Qaeda members sentenced to 5-10 years,” Yemen News Agency - SABA, January 26, 2010. Available:
[5] “Alshabab Claims Overnight’s Explosion Attack on AU’s Hospital in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, January 26, 2010. Available:
[6] “Clashes between rebels and AMISOM occur in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, January 26, 2010. Available: 
[7] “Yemen's outrage on Somali immigrants in Yemen,” Mareeg Online, January 26, 2010. Available:
[8] “USA Takes in 6,000 Somali from Uganda,” January 26, 2010. Available:
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