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:  Humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen holds despite continued violations; Ansar al Sharia forbids the sale of Qat in al Mukalla; Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government recalls envoy to Iran

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants detain Iranian fishing vessel crew in Galgudud region; Puntland cabinet bars AMISOM from operating in Puntland

Yemen Security Brief

  • The humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen continued to hold despite continued reported violations by both the al Houthi movement and Saudi Arabia. Humanitarian relief has successfully arrived in Yemen both by port in al Mukalla, overland from Saudi Arabia, and by air into Sana’a Airport.[1]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants in al Mukalla, Hadramawt, announced that they would no longer allow the sale of Qat in the city on May 14. It is likely that this declaration will be poorly received by the citizenry of al Mukalla.[2]
  • Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s Yemeni government in exile recalled the Yemeni ambassador to Iran on May 14.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants seized an Iranian fishing vessel’s crew near El Dheer, Galgudud region, on May 13. The Iranian vessel reportedly suffered mechanical failure and drifted towards the al Shabaab-held coastal town of El Dheer, where al Shabaab then detained the crew of 14.[4]
  • The Puntland Cabinet announced on May 14 that African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces would not be allowed to conduct anti-al Shabaab operations in Puntland. In the announcement, the administration claimed that Puntland security forces were capable of combating al Shabaab.[5]

[1] “Yemen aid starts to flow as truce mostly holds,” Reuters, May 14, 2015. Available:
“Houthis violated Yemen truce: Saudi-led coalition,” al Arabiya, May 14, 2015. Available:
“Arrival of two planes carrying humanitarian aid to Sana’a airport,” al Watanye, May 14, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Ansar al Sharia prevents the sale of Qat in al Mukalla,” al Tagheer, May 14, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Qaeda prevents the sale of Qat in al Mukalla,” al Mashhad, May 14, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Qaeda to prevent the sale of Qat in al Mukalla,” 24, May 14, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Yemen’s exiled government recalls Iran envoy,” Reuters, May 14, 2015. Available:
[4] “Al-Shabaab kidnaps 14 Iranian fishermen stranded in Somalia,” The Guardian, May 13. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Puntland cabinet debates any possible AMISOM operation,” Garowe Online, May 14. Available:
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