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: Kuwaiti emir expresses skepticism for Yemeni peace talks; President Hadi meets with UN Special Envoy for Yemen in Mauritania; al Houthi chairman reaffirms commitment to ceasefire as Hadi and al Houthi-Saleh fighters agree to local ceasefire in Taiz

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants conduct SVBIED attack on UN and AMISOM compound in Mogadishu; Somali special forces attack al Shabaab positions in Awdhegle, Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab militants behead elder in Qansah Dhere, Bay region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah, host of the Yemeni peace negotiations, stated on July 25 that talks have failed to produce an agreement. Al Sabah added that “hope remains pinned on the Yemeni delegations” to arrive at a political settlement. Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al Jarallah issued the Yemeni delegations an ultimatum on July 20 to reach an agreement within 15 days or leave Kuwait.[1]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on the sidelines of Arab League Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania on July 25. President Hadi expressed his desire for a political solution but averred that the al Houthi-Saleh forces refused to cooperate.[2]
  • Al Houthi Chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Council Mohammed Ali al Houthi reaffirmed the al Houthi faction’s commitment to the national ceasefire, noting that al Houthi leadership repeatedly called for a political solution as the only way forward. President of the De-escalation and Ceasefire Committee Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Nayef stated that al Houthi-Saleh and Hadi government forces will sign a local ceasefire in Taiz governorate within the next two days. Tribes from Taiz and Ibb governorates will oversee the agreement. Popular resistance forces seized al Sarari area east of Mt. Sabir, Taiz governorate from al Houthi-Saleh forces on July 26, after a local agreement to allow non-resident al Houthi fighters to leave the area failed.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants conducted a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack on a UN and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base in Mogadishu on July 26. A militant detonated a SVBIED at the gate of Halane Base Camp. A second suicide bomber then attempted to enter the compound but detonated his suicide vest (SVEST) at the gate when security forces opened fire. The attack killed at least 12 AMISOM and UN officials and injured 17 others.[4]
  • An elite Somali special forces unit drove al Shabaab militants from Awdhegle town in Lower Shabelle region Somalia on July 25. The U.S.-trained Danab unit, accompanied by AMISOM forces, also attacked an al Shabaab training camp near Awdhegle.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants beheaded a respected local elder in Qansah Dhere in Bay region on July 25. Al Shabaab executed Aden Abdullah for cooperating with the Somali Federal Government.[6]

[1] "Emir of Kuwait regretfully: Consultations peace Yemen have not succeeded in reaching an agreement," al Masdar, July 25, 2016,; and "Kuwait issues ultimatum to Yemen negotiators," al Arabiya, July 21, 2016,
[2] “President of the Republic meets UN envoy for Yemen in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott,” Saba New, July 25, 2016,
[3] “Chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee reiterates its commitment to the cease-fire,” Saba News, July 25, 2016,; "Chairman of the Committee truce in Taiz reveals a prospective cease-fire," Barakish, July 26, 2016,; and “Taiz: resistance seizes control of al Sarari,” Barakish, July 26, 2016,
[4] “At least nine UN guards and three Amisom soldiers killed in twin explosion in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, July 26, 2016,; “UN and AMISOM deny any staff casualty in Mogadishu bomb explosions,” Goobjoog News, July 26, 2016,; “Al Shabab claims credit for attack at Mogadishu airport,” Shabelle News, July 26, 2016,; and “Suicide bombers hit peacekeeping base in Somali capital, 13 dead: police,” Reuters, July 26, 2016,
[5] “Foreign, SNA forces raid Al-Shabaab base in Somalia,” Shabelle News, July 25, 2016,; “Somali commandos destroy Al-shabaab camp in Aw-dhegle-Government,” Goobjoog News, July 26, 2016,; and “AMISOM and SNA pull out of Aw-Dhegle town,” Goobjoog News, July 26, 2016,
[6] “Al Shabaab beheads respected elder in southern Somalia,” Shabelle News, July 25, 2016,
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