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: UN and Arab League launch humanitarian campaign in Yemen; AQAP negotiates ransom for South African hostage; al Houthi militants refuse to evacuate Hamdan district in Sana’a governorate; unidentified gunmen attack military target

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab attacks AMISOM and Somali forces in Hiraan region; Somali president convenes government ministers for National Security Council meeting; AMISOM and Somali security forces conduct search operation in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • United Nations delegates met with members of the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt on March 17 to discuss plans for starting a humanitarian campaign in Yemen. According to Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Faeqa Saeed al Saleh, the campaign will coordinate with the Yemeni government in order to provide food, water, and healthcare assistance to at least seven million Yemenis over the next year. [1]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants contacted staff members at the Gift of the Givers Foundation in Yemen on March 19 to negotiate a ransom price for South African citizen Pierre Korkie, whom AQAP militants have been holding hostage since May 2013. According to the head of the foundation, Yemeni tribal leaders are working with both Yemeni and South African government officials to broker Korkie’s release.[2]
  • Al Houthi rebels on March 19 refused to honor an agreement brokered by the Hamdan Mediation Committee to begin removing military forces from Hamdan district in Sana’a governorate.[3]
  • Unidentified gunmen attacked a Yemeni army target in the city of Aden on March 19. The number of casualties is still unknown. [4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked AMISOM and Somali forces in the Bulo-Burde district of Hiraan region over the night of March 18 and March 19. Reports indicate that al Shabaab militants exchanged gunfire with the AMISOM and Somali forces before fleeing. The minor confrontation came after al Shabaab launched a coordinated attack, consisting of a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) and direct fire, against AMISOM and Somali forces in Bulo-Burde earlier on March 18. Recent reporting indicates that at least 25 were killed in the attack, including 5 Djiboutian AMISOM soldiers, Bulo-Burde mayor Abdulkadir Nour, former Hiraan Governor Yusuf Ahmed Hagar, and Somali military commander Colonel Mohamed Adan Amin.[5]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud convened various government ministers, including Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, as well as military and security officials for a National Security Council meeting on March 18. According to Defense Minister Mohamed Hassan Hamud, the meeting addressed the Somali government’s next steps for the stabilization of territory recently liberated from al Shabaab. Several government ministers have emphasized the importance of humanitarian assistance during the stabilization process.[6]
  • AMISOM and Somali security forces conducted a search operation in the Hodan district of Mogadishu on March 19.  The security forces halted transportation and raided houses before arresting an unspecified number of individuals.[7] 

[1] Bassem Aly, “UN, Arab League launches new humanitarian plan for Yemen,” Ahram Online, March 17, 2014. Available:,-Arab-League-launches-new-humanitarian-plan-for.aspx
[2] “al Qaeda resumes negotiations for Korkie’s release,” Yemen Post, March 19, 2014. Available:
[3] “Houthi group refused to vacate their positions in Hamedan,” News Yemen, March 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Unidentified targeting armored vehicles for the army in Aden,” News Yemen, March 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Al-Shabaab carry out more attacks last night,” Shabelle News, March 19, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Car bomb, Gun attack claim 25 in central town,” Garowe Online, March 18, 2014. Available:
“Djibouti confirms 5 soldiers killed in Somalia attack,” Xinhua, March 19, 2014. Available:
[6] “SOMALIA: National Security Council discusses the stabilization of liberated towns,” RBC Radio, March 19, 2014. Available:
[7] “SOMALIA: Joint search operation continues in Mogadishu,” RBC Radio, March 19, 2014. Available:
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