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: Al Houthi movement offers prisoner exchange; UN Special Envoy for Yemen working on ceasefire proposal

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detonates IED targeting Djiboutian soldiers in Hiraan region; al Shabaab claims multiple attacks in and around Mogadishu; al Shabaab attempts to flood highway in Middle Shabelle region; Ethiopian Prime Minister receives Nobel Peace Prize

Yemen Security Brief

The al Houthi movement offered President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government a prisoner exchange involving 2,000 detainees on October 10. The announcement follows the al Houthi movement’s unilateral release of 290 prisoners on September 30. The head of the al Houthi movement’s Prisoner Affairs Committee, Abdul Qader al Murtada, stated on October 10 that the exchange could be the first phase of a larger deal. The Hadi government has not responded to the offer.[1]

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths is working on a comprehensive settlement between Saudi Arabia and the al Houthi movement following an al Houthi ceasefire offer, according to Al Jazeera. Griffiths’ plan will call for militia withdrawals overseen by the UN, an end to cross-border attacks, and an end to threats to maritime navigation in international waters. The UN has not commented on the alleged proposal.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab detonated a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Djiboutian troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Jalalaqsi town in Hiraan region in central Somalia on October 10. The explosion killed two Djiboutian soldiers and injured two civilians.[3]

Al Shabaab claimed multiple attacks on Somali security forces in and around Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on October 9 and 10. Al Shabaab claimed to separately detonate IEDs targeting Somali National Army (SNA) and Somali police forces in Daynile district, Hodan district, and Heliwa district in Mogadishu, as well as near Barire town, located approximately 25 miles southwest of the capital. Militants also claimed to assassinate a Somali Federal Government official in Hodan district.[4]

Al Shabaab destroyed a water gate in an attempt to flood the highway between Jowhar and Balad towns in Middle Shabelle region in central Somalia on October 11. Al Shabaab militants ambushed SNA troops when they attempted to close the gate.[5]

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize on October 11 for his 2018 peace agreement with neighboring Eritrea. Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1991 after three decades of conflict. The two countries went to war in 1998 over a border dispute.[6]

Visit our YemenSomaliaSaudi Arabia, and Ethiopia storystreams.

[1] “Yemen’s Houthis Offer Saudi-backed Government New Prisoner Swap Deal”, Reuters, October 10, 2019,

[2] “A Comprehensive Political Settlement in Yemen Sought by Saudi Arabia… What are its Features”, Al Jazeera, October 10, 2019,السعودية-اليمن-تسوية-الحرب-الحوثيون-الحكومة-الشرعية.

[3] Tuuryare, Abdirisak, “Two AU Soldiers Injured In Somalia Explosion,” Mareeg, October 10, 2019,

[4] “Shabaab Claims Bombing Military Vehicle in Kenya's Garissa County, Killing 7 Somali Special Police in IED Blast in Mogadishu,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 10, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

[5] Harun Maruf, Twitter, October 11, 2019,

[6] Stevis-Gridneff, Matina, “Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Awarded Nobel Peace Prize,” The New York Times, October 11, 2019,; and Corey-Boulet, Robbie, “Abiy Ahmed: Meteoric rise of the man trying to remould Ethiopia,” Agence France Presse, October 11, 2019,

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