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: Saudi Arabia proposes temporary ceasefire in Yemen after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State; Ansar al Sharia militants seize control of port in Hadramawt; Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government requests ground intervention in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Kenyan President rescinds threats to close Dabaab Refugee Camp; suspected al Shabaab member surrenders himself to Kenyan police

Yemen Security Brief

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 7. Also on May 7, Saudi foreign minister Adel al Jubeir announced a Saudi proposal for a five-day ceasefire in Yemen to allow for humanitarian relief. Jubeir emphasized that any ceasefire would be contingent upon the al Houthi movement and al Houthi-allied military units also agreeing to lay down arms.[1]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants seized control of al Shihr port, Hadramawt, on May 6. Ansar al Sharia has had a presence in al Shihr since April 16, when they seized control of Dhabah oil terminal.[2]
  • Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in exile submitted a letter to the UN calling for international ground-intervention in Yemen on May 6. Saudi Arabia has not yet released a statement in response to Hadi’s request.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta stepped back previous threats to close Dabaab Refugee Camp and forcibly expel Somali refugees. President Kenyatta stated that there would be no forced repatriations on May 6 after a meeting with Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry similarly urged Kenya not to close the Dabaab Refugee Camp during a May 4 visit to Kenya. Kenya’s threat to close Dabaab Refugee Camp was in reaction to the April 2 Garissa University attack by al Shabaab.[4]
  • A suspected al Shabaab member surrendered to Kenyan police in Garissa, North Eastern Province, Kenya, on May 5. The 22 year-old man is believed to have walked from Somalia into Kenya to surrender. Kenya currently has an amnesty program for defecting al Shabaab members.[5]      

[1] “Saudi Arabia says considering five-day truce in Yemen,” Reuters, May 7, 2015. Available:
[2] “Al Qaeda controls Shihr port,” al Motamar, May 6, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Qaeda seizes control of port,” Erem News, May 6, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Yemen urges ground intervention to save country,” Reuters, May 7, 2015. Available:
“Yemen calls for ground intervention,” al Masdar, May 6, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] Isma’il Kushkush, “Kenya steps back from threat to expel Somali refugees,” The New York Times, May 6, 2015. Available:
[5] “Suspected al Shabaab recruit surrenders to police in Garissa,” Daily Nation, May 7, 2015. Available:
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