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: Former Vice President Bahah says international peace plan will be released next week barring Kuwait agreement; UN rescinds condemnation of coalition crimes against children; peace talks resume in Kuwait; Ma’rib governorate officials releases five al Houthi child soldiers; al Houthi fighters clash with popular resistance in al Zahir, al Bayda governorate
Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants attack KDF military camp in Busar, Gedo region; al Shabaab attacks AMISOM base in Bufow village, Lower Shabelle region; suspected al Shabaab militants shoot and kill a NISA member in Garasbaley outside of Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief
- Former Yemeni Vice President Khalid Bahah said in a June 6 BBC interview that the “international community” will release a plan for Yemen next week if the peace talks in Kuwait do not produce one. Bahah reportedly referred to a plan that UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed presented at the most recent UN Security Council meeting on Yemen. The plan will be framed in the context of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and the National Dialogue Outcomes, the UN Security Council will oversee its implementation, and former GCC Initiative members will be responsible for supporting reconstruction alongside the UN. GCC members and UN representatives will staff a military council charged with overseeing rebel withdrawal and disarmament alongside Yemenis. Additionally, the Central Bank Governor is expected hold a meeting in Amman to plead for assistance from the international community to stem an impending collapse of Yemen’s fragile financial system.
- The UN “temporarily” rescinded the blacklisting of the Saudi-led coalition for violating the rights of children on June 6 after Saudi Arabia pressure to reverse the decision. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that the UN panel agreed to review the evidence, although Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Abdallah al Mouallimi claimed the decision was irreversible. Human rights advocates and other onlookers expressed outrage at the UN’s decision on social media.
- UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed hosted the first round of peace talks during the Ramadan month on June 7 after a three-day pause during which the head of the al Houthi-General People’s Congress (GPC) party delegation, Mohammed Abdul Salam, visited Saudi Arabia to discuss the Saudi-Yemeni ceasefire. Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghir returned to Aden on June 6, but the rest of the delegation remained to participate in peace negotiations.
- Local government officials in Ma’rib governorate released five child soldiers fighting for the al Houthis from military custody on June 7. Officials gave each child’s family Yemeni 100,000 rials, approximately $400, to help them return to school and resume normal life.
- Al Houthi fighters attempted to gain ground against local resistance in al Zahir, al Bayda governorate on June 7, using tanks and artillery fire. Ten al Houthi fighters and five popular resistance fighters died in the clashes. Particularly heavy clashes continued in al Hamiqan district, where fighting has raged for several days.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Suspected al Shabaab militants attacked a Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) military camp in Busar, Gedo region, on June 6. The militants fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at the camp and exchanged gunfire with the KDF. Al Shabaab conducted a ground assault with light weapons on a Somali National Army (SNA) base in El Wak, 40 kilometers from Busar, on May 25.
- Al Shabaab attacked an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base with RPGs and machine guns in Bufow village, six kilometers from Marka, Lower Shabelle region, on June 6. AMISOM and SNA troops retook Marka from al Shabaab militants in early February 2016.
- Suspected al Shabaab militants shot and killed a Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) member in Garasbaley area outside of Mogadishu on June 6. Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting NISA personnel at a checkpoint in KPP junction in Mogadishu on May 23.
- Al Shabaab released a new video entitled, “Whoever Changes His Religion, Kill Him.” The video includes photos of U.S. President Barack Obama with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, as well as al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri.