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: Houthis and Saudis send delegations to Riyadh and Sana’a for negotiations on prisoner exchange; UN envoy enumerates seven-point six-month truce proposal; Houthi foreign ministry reiterates demands on salaries
Somalia: Al Shabaab’s spokesperson releases a voice broadcast, confirming he is still alive; al Shabaab executes six alleged spies in southern Somalia; anti-al Shabaab forces reinforce in a strategic town in central Somalia; multiple international organizations condemn the Somali government’s arrest of a prominent journalist
Yemen Security Brief:
The Houthi Movement and Saudi Arabia dispatched delegations to Sana’a, Yemen, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 12.[i] The head of the Houthi Prisoner’s Committee claimed that the prisoner exchange has “nothing to do with political discussions.” An independent Yemeni journalist reported that the Houthi delegation included one member from the Prisoner’s Committee and seven officials from Houthi leader Abdul Malik al Houthi’s office, Houthi intelligence services, and the Houthi foreign ministry.[ii] The delegations are set to return to their respective countries on October 14.[iii]
UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg enumerated the seven points of his six-month truce proposal during a briefing to the UN Security Council on October 13.[iv] Grundberg submitted the original proposal to the warring parties on September 18. The proposal includes an end to offensive operations, “transparent and effective [salary] disbursement” for civil servants, opening roads in key Yemeni governorates, an increase in flights and destinations to and from Sana’a airport, the “regular and unhindered flow of fuel” in Hudaydah, the release of prisoners, and the “establishment of structures for… a Yemeni-led, inclusive political process.”
The Houthi Foreign Ministry said that it is “keen” on achieving peace, but reiterated its demands for salary payments for “all state employees.”[v] All state employees include Houthi-controlled security institutions currently fighting the Yemeni government and Saudi-led Coalition.
Somalia Security Brief:
Al Shabaab spokesperson Ali Dheere released a voice broadcast about the October 12 clashes between al Shabaab and anti-al Shabaab forces in central Somalia’s Hiraan region, on October 12. The Somali National Army (SNA) had previously claimed on October 6 that Dheere died in the fighting in central Somalia.[vi]
Al Shabaab executed six alleged US spies in Saakow, Middle Jubba region, southern Somalia, on October 13.[vii]
SNA and local clan reinforcements arrived in Yasooman, Burlo Burde district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on October 13.[viii] The SNA’s 21st Division from Galmudug region, northeastern Somalia, and members of the Ayr clan made up the reinforcements.[ix] Al Shabaab militants previously attacked SNA forces in Yasooman on October 12.[x]
Multiple Western embassies and international organizations condemned the Somali Federal Government’s (SFG) detention of the secretary general of the Somali Journalists Syndicate on October 13.[xi] The SFG arrested the secretary general on October 11 for “security-related charge[s]” .[xii] The SFG banned al Shabaab–affiliated websites and reporting on “terrorist ideology and acts of intimidation” on October 8.[xiii]
[i] Abdul Qadir al Murtada, Twitter, October 12, 2022, https://twitter.com/abdulqadermortd/status/1580217172747780096?s=20&t=kPrTEx925jk7_tn2-jIR1w.
[ii] Fares al Hemyari, Twitter, October 13, 2022, https://twitter.com/faresalhemyari/status/1580618775921328128?s=46&t=hXJZ9L5layhJcrq6Gnui3Q.
[iii] Abdul Qadir al Murtada, Twitter, October 13, 2022, https://twitter.com/abdulqadermortd/status/1580650202817781761?s=20&t=J_-LNfwrtzM4SFPnf_Z-ow.
[iv] Hans Grundberg, “Briefing to the United Nations Security Council by the Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg,” October 13, 2022, https://osesgy.unmissions.org/briefing-united-nations-security-council-special-envoy-yemen-hans-grundberg-7.
[v] 26Sep Houthi, “Foreign Ministry: Peace in Yemen is not out of reach,” October 13, 2022, https://26sep.net/index.php/local/45266-2022-10-13-19-56-10.
[vi] Asad Cabdullahi Mataan, “Al-Shabaab spokesman, Ali Dheere spoke after it was reported that he was killed,” Caasimada, October 13, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/afhayeenka-shabaab-cali-dheere-oo-soo-hadlay-kadib-markii-la-sheegay-in-la-dilay/.
[vii] Saalax Saciid Sabriye, “The names of 6 youths who were shot by Al-Shabaab,“ Caasimada, October 14, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/magacyada-6-dhallinyaro-ah-oo-ay-toogatay-kooxda-al-shabaab/; Radio al Furqaan, ”A spy network that worked for the United States was killed in the morning,” October 13, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/10/shabakad-basaasiin-ah-oo-u-shaqeynayay-mareykanka-oo-lagu-dilay-saakow/.
[viii] Gorgor Media, @GorgorMedia, Twitter, October 13, 2022, https://twitter.com/GorgorMedia/status/1580543706083434497?s=20&t=nbVxqOxVV33P7yEAppVrUA.
[ix] Mohamed Abdi Ware, @HShPrez2Ware, Twitter, October 13, 2022, https://twitter.com/HShPrez2Ware/status/1580538877667704832?s=20&t=wFjMcM6Itm_W7q2wxYwpAA.
[x] Radio Mogdishu, ”The army killed more than 50 Al-Shabaab militants,” October 12, 2022, https://radiomuqdisho.so/ciidanka-xoogga-dalka-oo-dilay-50-katirsan-maleeshiyada-al-shabaab/.
[xi] U.S. Embassy Mogadishu, Somalia, @US2SOMALIA, Twitter, October 13, 2022, https://twitter.com/US2SOMALIA/status/1580596125454565387; Amnesty International, @amnestypress, Twitter, October 14, 2022, https://twitter.com/amnestypress/status/1580911393263726599; GermanyinSomalia, @GermanyinSOM, Twitter, October 14, 2022, https://twitter.com/GermanyinSOM/status/1580824879242575872.
[xii] Halbeeg, ”Govt says Media activist detained on ’security-related charge,” October 13, 2022, https://en.halbeeg.com/2022/10/13/govt-says-media-activist-detained-on-security-related-charge/.
[xiii] Al Jazeera, ”Somalia orders media not to publish al-Shabab ’propaganda,’” October 8, 2022, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/10/8/somalia-bans-media-to-publish-al-shababs-propaganda.