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: STC spokesperson welcomes Saudi-Iran agreement; Emirati newspapers report a one-year, UN sponsored truce in Yemen is imminent; STC-backed forces dismantle a likely AQAP IED in Abyan
Somalia: Al Shabaab likely detonates a car bomb in Mogadishu; Turkish-trained special forces conclude training in Mogadishu; Kenyan defense secretary discusses counterterrorism efforts with local leaders from northeastern Kenya
Yemen Security Brief
The Southern Transitional Council (STC)’s spokesperson “welcomed” the resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran after mediation from China on March 10.[i] The STC said the reconciliation will improve security and stability in the Middle East.
Emirati newspapers reported on March 9 that a one-year, UN-sponsored truce extension agreement between the Houthis and Yemeni government is imminent.[ii] Unspecified diplomatic sources said that the new extension will be part of a “comprehensive peace agreement and not just a ceasefire agreement.” Emirati media linked the progress in negotiations to a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Yemeni president and several deputies on March 7.
The STC-backed al Hizam Security Forces in Abyan dismantled an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by likely al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in the Lawder city Market, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on March 9.[iii] The al Hizam reported that the IED was locally manufactured and contained 9kg of TNT.
Somalia Security Brief
Al Shabaab likely detonated a car bomb in Hamar Weyne district, Mogadishu, on March 9.[iv] The explosion injured one civilian.[v]
A new batch of Turkish-trained Gorgor special forces soldiers graduated training in Mogadishu, on March 9.[vi]
The Kenyan defense cabinet secretary met with local leaders and MPs from the Somali regions of northeastern Kenya to discuss counterterrorism efforts in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 9.[vii] The cabinet secretary asked the leaders to share intelligence on national security issues and increase security along the border, as Kenya is aiming to re-open its borders to allow for transnational trade.[viii]
[i] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “The First Comment of the ‘Transitional Council’ on the Final Reconciliation Between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” March 10, 2023, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/250993.
[ii] Al Arab News, “Agreement to Extend the Armistice in Yemen with the Specifications of a Peace Agreement,” March 9, 2023, https://alarab.co.uk/%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%87%D8%AF%D9%86%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B5%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85.
[iii] Al Hizam Security Forces Media Center, “al Hizam Security Forces Dismantle an Explosive Device Planted in a Public Market in Abyan,” March 9, 2023, https://alhezam-media.com/site/2023/03/09/%d9%82%d9%88%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%ad%d8%b2%d8%a7%d9%85-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%a3%d9%85%d9%86%d9%8a-%d8%aa%d9%81%d9%83%d9%83-%d8%b9%d8%a8%d9%88%d8%a9-%d9%86%d8%a7%d8%b3%d9%81%d8%a9-%d8%b2%d8%b1%d8%b9/.
[iv] Caasimada, “Details about today’s explosion in Mogadishu,” March 9, 2023, https://www.caasimada.net/faahfaahin-ku-saabsan-qarax-maanta-ka-dhacay-muqdisho/ ; Shabelle Media, “Details of an explosion in Mogadishu,” March 9, 2023, https://shabellemedia.com/faahfaahino-ka-soo-baxaya-qarax-ka-dhacay-muqdisho-khasaaraha/
[v] Caasimada, “Details about today’s explosion in Mogadishu”
[vi] Caasimada, “Watch: Troops trained by Turkey join the fight against Al-Shabaab,” March 10, 2023, https://www.caasimada.net/daawo-ciidamo-uu-turkiga-tababaray-oo-kusoo-biiraya-dagaalka-kooxda-al-shabaab/; Harun Maruf, @HarunMaruf, Twitter, March 10, 2023, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1634151239012306944
[vii] Halbeeg, “The Kenyan government is urging northeastern leaders to help it fight al-Shabaab,” March 9, 2023, https://en.halbeeg.com/2023/03/09/kenya-govt-urges-northeastern-leaders-to-help-it-fight-al-shabaab/
[viii] Halbeeg, “The Kenyan government is urging northeastern leaders to help it fight al-Shabaab”