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 Special Envoy to Yemen to present finalized negotiations framework in June; al Houthi forces launch Zilzal 2 ballistic missile at Hadi government forces in southwestern al Jawf governorate; AQAP militants kill al Houthi soldier in eastern al Bayda governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali President pledges to create new constitution; UN calls for ceasefire in northern Somalia; al Shabaab kills Somali soldier in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths will present a finalized framework for negotiations to the UN Security Council in June, according to a May 15 statement from Envoy’s office. The statement noted that Griffith’s postponed trip to Sana’a has not impeded access to al Houthi movement leadership. Griffiths postponed a visit to Sana’a on May 5 because of an al Houthi political transition following the death of former Supreme Political Council Saleh al Samad.[1]

Al Houthi forces launched a Zilzal 2 ballistic missile targeting Hadi government forces in al Ghail district in southwestern al Jawf governorate, northern Yemen on May 15.[2]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants killed an al Houthi soldier in al Sawmah district, eastern al Bayda governorate, central Yemen on May 15, according to an AQAP support channel. AQAP frequently conducts attacks against al Houthi forces in al Bayda governorate.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Somali Federal Government (SFG) President Mohamed Farmajo pledged to create a new constitution before the 2020 elections in Somalia on May 15. Over 350 government officials met for a constitutional convention in Mogadishu on May 13-15. Somali state officials called for constitutional reforms to address humanitarian, security, and political concerns related to state autonomy. Farmajo stated the constitution will give every Somali citizen a vote, a change from the current 4.5 clan system that concentrates voting power into the four largest clans and their elders.[4]  

UN officials called for a ceasefire to end fighting in Tuko Raq, Sool region, northern Somalia on May 15. UN Special Representative for Somalia Michael Keating called for both sides to negotiate a political resolution. The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) reinforced SFG President Mohamed Farmajo’s appeal for a ceasefire between Somaliland and Puntland forces on May 15. The U.S. Mission to Somalia urged both sides to cease hostilities and engage in dialogue in a tweet on May 15.[5]

Al Shabaab militants claimed to have killed a Somali National Army (SNA) soldier in Yashid district, Mogadishu on May 16. Al Shabaab often targets Somali soldiers in Mogadishu.[6]

[1] “Statement attributable to the Spokesperson of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen,” Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Yemen, May 15, 2018,
[2] “The launch of a Zilzal 2 missile on the concentrations of mercenaries of aggression in al Ghail, al Jawf,” Saba News, May 15, 2018,
[3] “AQAP claimed to kill al Houthi soldier in al Sawmah district, al Bayda governorate,” Telegram, May 15, 2018.
[4] “Somali President promises to deliver new constitution before next elections,” AMISOM, May 16, 2018,
[5] “UN, US call for end to fighting in Tukaraq as clashes claim over 30 lives,” Goobjoog, May 16, 2018,; “United Nations calls for immediate end to fighting and dialogue following clashes between ‘Somaliland’ and Puntland forces in Tukaraq,” UNSOM, May 15, 2018,; and U.S. Mission-Somalia, Twitter, May 15, 2018,
[6] Al Shabaab kills a SNA soldier. Telegram, May 16, 2018.

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