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 Houthi movement and Hadi’s government both reportedly willing  to engage in UN-led talks in Geneva; pro-ISIS accounts claim credit for attack on al Houthis in al Bayda

Horn of Africa: Somali officials express concern over proposed Kenyan security border; western sources warn of future al Shabaab attacks in Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • An unnamed member from Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in exile announced on June 2 that Hadi is prepared to travel to Geneva for UN-led peace talks. UN officials have reportedly set June 10 as a tentative date for talks to begin. Mohammad al Houthi, the head of the al Houthi Revolutionary Council, said that the al Houthi movement has no objections to talks during a June 3 interview with The Associated Press. It is uncertain if Hadi will hold to his previous demand that the al Houthis submit to UN resolution 2216 prior to talks.[1]
  • Popular resistance fighters clashed with al Houthi militants in al Zahir, al Bayda, June 2-3. Pro-ISIS Twitter accounts claimed that ISIS Wilayat al Bayda carried out the attack against the al Houthis as opposed to popular resistance fighters, though the identity of the militants has not been independently confirmed. A reported 30-50 al Houthi militants were killed in the fighting.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Several members of the Somali Federal Government have expressed concern over the legality of Kenya’s planned security barrier along Kenya’s border. Kenyan officials proposed the fortified wall as a means of preventing further al Shabaab attacks within the nation.[3]
  • Anonymous western security officials warned Kenya  of the growing al Shabaab presence within the country, citing the group’s increased media presence in Kenya as warnings of new attacks. The sources cited the June 1 capture of Warankara as an indicator that al Shabaab is employing tactics similar to those used by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).[4]

[1] “Aide: Yemen’s president willing to meet rebels in UN talks,” Military Times, June 2, 2015. Available:
“Yemen’s president prepared to attend Geneva peace talks,” al Jazeera, June 3, 2015. Available:
“AP Inteview: Top Yemen Shiite rebel welcomes UN peace talks,” ABC News, June 3, 2015. Available:
[2] “30 al Houthis killed in al Bayda,” Ghorba News, June 3, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Popular resistance attacks al Houthis in al Zahir al Bayda,” al Masdar, June 3, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
Additional sources available upon request
[3] “Building border wall not a way to foil Al Shabaab attacks – Somalia Minister,” Horseed Media, June 3, 2015. Available:  
“Somali MPs protest against border wall,” Shabelle News, June 3, 2015. Available:
[4] “Kenya’s fight against Shabaab shifts to its own backyard,” Hirran Online, June 2, 3015. Available:
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