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 King says kingdom seeks peace talks in Yemen; al Houthis release Saudi and South Korean vessels in Red Sea
Horn of Africa: AFRICOM conducts airstrike targeting al Shabaab in Middle Jubba region; al Shabaab assassinates former SFG official in Mogadishu; security forces launch operations in Galmudug State ahead of elections
Yemen Security Brief
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saudi stated on November 20 that a recently signed power-sharing agreement between President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government and a southern Yemeni separatist group could open the door to wider peace talks in Yemen. Saudi Arabia brokered the Riyadh Agreement, which the Hadi government and Transitional Political Council for the South (STC) signed on November 5, to end a standoff over Yemen’s de facto capital, .
The al Houthi movement released two South Korean naval vessels and one Saudi vessel on November 19, two days after the group seized the vessels in the Red Sea. The Saudi vessel was towing a South Korean rig at the time of the seizure.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting an al Shabaab militant near Qunyo Barrow town in Middle Jubba region in southern Somalia on November 19. The airstrike killed one militant.
Al Shabaab assassinated a former Somali Federal Government (SFG) diplomat near the Aden Adde International Airport in Somalia’s capital, , on November 20. Al Shabaab separately attacked Somali National Army troops in the Ex-Control Afgoi area of Mogadishu on November 20.
SFG and Galmudug State security forces set up checkpoints and launched clearance operations in , the capital of Galmudug State in north-central Somalia, on November 19. The security operations occurred ahead of regional elections planned for late 2019.
 “Saudi king says kingdom seeks political settlement in Yemen,” Reuters, November 20, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-king-yemen/saudi-king-says-kingdom-seeks-political-settlement-in-yemen-idUSKBN1XU1K0; and Skinner, Helena, “Riyadh Agreement: Can Saudi-brokered ‘peace deal’ really help end Yemen war?” EuroNews, November 7, 2019, https://www.euronews.com/2019/11/07/riyadh-agreement-can-saudi-brokered-peace-deal-really-help-end-yemen-war.
 “S. Korean nationals, vessels released by Yemen’s Houthis – S.Korea Foreign Ministry”, Reuters, November 19, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/yemen-security/s-korean-nationals-vessels-released-by-yemens-houthis-s-korea-foreign-ministry-idUSS6N23A01L.
 “Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. target al-Shabaab terrorist with airstrike,” US AFRICOM, November 20, 2019, https://www.africom.mil/media-room/pressrelease/32378/federal-government-of-somalia-u-s-target-al-shabaab-terrorist-with-airstrike.
 Harun Maruf, Twitter, November 20, 2019, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1197154266923896833; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, November 20, 2019, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1197130457067986945.
 “Security forces launch operations in Dhusamareb,” Goobjoog, November 20, 2019, http://goobjoog.com/english/security-forces-launch-operations-in-dhusamareb/.