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: Six-step agreement aims to end war with al Houthi rebels; AQAP launches English-language online magazine
Horn of Africa: TFG launches counterattack against al Shabaab in Mogadishu; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a leader says agreement with TFG has collapsed; ruling party in Somaliland says irregularities in polling, asks for delay in results; Somaliland president says will he step down if party loses; Hizb al Islam bans commemorations of Somali independence
Yemen Security Brief
- An agreement signed last month between the government and al Houthi rebels aims to “reset” a February truce through a six-step process, according to officials. Among other things, the new agreement calls for a lasting ceasefire, the release of detainees, and territory concessions from the rebel group.
- AQAP launched its first English-language propaganda magazine online Tuesday in an effort likely aimed at bolstering recruitment efforts. The first issue of the publication, called Inspire, features articles such as “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, dressed in full military garb, stood at the front lines with government troops in a counter-offensive against Islamist militants in Mogadishu on Thursday. The TFG’s operation, backed by African Union troops, focused initially on the Karan district, an al Shabaab stronghold. Eight civilians died in the fighting and another 82 were wounded. Before the attack, Ahmed gave an address warning Somalis that their country stood on the brink in the face of extremism.
- Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Muhammad Sheikh Hassan, said his group’s power sharing deal with the TFG has collapsed. He cited the government’s lack of compliance in appointing Ahlu Sunna members to government posts as a reason for the collapse of the agreement.
- The ruling UDUB Party in Somaliland asked that the National Electoral Commission to delay announcing the results of the self-declared republic’s presidential election. Party officials said there were “huge irregularities” in the polling.
- Somaliland’s president, Dahir Riyale Kahin, said he would step down if his party loses the election.
- Hizb al Islam banned citizens and media from celebrating Somalia’s 50th anniversary of independence, saying such commemorations are un-Islamic. In response, Shabelle Media announced it would not submit to the Islamist group’s order.