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: Military raids AQAP hideouts in Hadramawt; security forces arrest AQAP elements in al Mahrah; al Houthis and Salafists reach ceasefire in Sa’ada; al Houthis break ceasefire in Sa’ada

Horn of Africa: Somali Parliament decides to hold vote of confidence for Prime Minister Shirdon; UN envoy meets with Puntland leaders; Somali government dismisses claim of destabilizing efforts in Somaliland

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni soldiers raided two houses of suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) member in Shihr, Hadramawt governorate on November 22. Two soldiers died when their pickup truck flipped over. Al Mashhad al Yemeni reported that security officials said U.S. drones provided air cover and bombed AQAP positions. The number of casualties was not reported. Security forces captured one militant fleeing the bombardment.[1]
  • Security forces arrested three AQAP members in al Ghaydah, al Mahrah on November 22. The three militants were stopped in a car coming from Hadramawt governorate.[2]
  • The presidential mediation committee reached a ceasefire between the al Houthis and Salafists in Sa’ada on November 21. A landmine exploded and killed two Yemeni soldiers shortly after the ceasefire was signed.[3]
  • Salafist spokesman Serour al Wadei accused the presidential mediation committee of collaborating with al Houthis. He said the al Houthis immediately continued shelling and sniper attacks in Damaj in violation of a 48-hour ceasefire signed November 21. Al Wadei said that members of the mediation committee did not respond to attempts to contact them.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • UN Special Representative to Somalia Ambassador Nicholas Kay and a UN special envoy met with Puntland President Farole and traditional elders to discuss upcoming elections and a response to the recent cyclone on November 21.[5]
  • The Somali Federal Government dismissed a claim that it has tried to destabilize Somaliland, on November 21.[6]
  • The Somali Parliament voted to hold a vote of confidence on Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon on November 21.[7]

[1] “Al Shihr: New Campaign Against AQAP Elements with the Participation of Drones, and News About Dead and Wounded,” al Mashhad al Yemeni, November 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Sources Confirm Seizing 3 AQAP Elements in al Mahra,” al Khabar Now, November 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Ceasefire in Damaj and Spread of Military Observers,” Yaspr, November 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Two Soldiers Killed in Damaj in Houthi Landmine Explosion in Pickup Belonging to Presidential Committee,” Yemen Press, November 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Damaj Spokesman: The Presidential Committee is Involved in the War and Shelling Continued,” Saada Online, November 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Somalia: UN envoy meets Puntland President and traditional elders,” Garowe, November 21, 2013. Available:
[6] “Somali government responds to self declares Somaliland claims,” Dalsan Radio, November 21, 2013. Available:
[7] “Somalia: PM Shirdon to face confidence vote in Parliament,” Garowe, November 21, 2013. Available:
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