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: UAV crashes in Ma’rib governorate; Hadi government prepares for peace talks; al Houthi militias push pro-Hadi troops out of al Bayda governorate; the siege of Taiz continues

Horn of Africa: Kenyan security officials release info on five al Shabaab members suspected of planning attacks in Kenya; clan clash leaves two dead in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region; EU signs agreement with AU to fund AMISOM

Yemen Security Brief

  • An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed in Wadi Abida, Ma’rib governorate in central Yemen on October 19. The UAV’s origins have not been confirmed. The Saudi-led coalition is providing air and ground support to anti-al Houthi forces in Ma’rib, and intermittent U.S. airstrikes target al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in the region.[1]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s advisors are reportedly drafting a road map and timeline for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which requires the al Houthis and their allies to disarm and withdraw from seized territory. President Hadi’s government agreed on October 18 to participate in negotiations with the al Houthis, who submitted a peace plan incorporating UNSCR 2216 two weeks ago. President Hadi had initially rejected the al Houthi’s offer to negotiate. The UN will sponsor peace talks in Geneva at the end of October.[2]
  • Al Houthi militias reportedly drove pro-Hadi government troops out of al Bayda on October 16, following a two-month struggle for control of the central Yemeni governorate. The al Houthis seized a military base in Mukayras district, al Bayda and pushed the pro-Hadi forces south into Abyan governorate.[3]
  • Street battles between al Houthi militias and anti-al Houthi forces continued in Taiz city in central Yemen. The al Houthis continue to shell popular resistance enclaves in the besieged city center, while popular resistance forces attack al Houthi positions on its outskirts. The al Houthis control the main roads leading in to Taiz and have prevented the entry of necessary food and supplies for weeks. Local tribal leaders are reportedly attempting to cut a new road to Taiz to break the al Houthi blockade.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan security officials released the names and photographs of five al Shabaab-linked individuals after receiving credible reports that the suspects are planning to carry out terrorist attacks within Kenya’s borders on October 20. The militants are believed to be in Somalia and may attempt to enter Kenya to carry out attacks. Kenyan police have since requested information from friends and family of the wanted individuals in hopes of disrupting the attacks. [5]
  • Rival clan militias clashed on October 20, in Afgoi district in Lower Shabelle region, southwest of Mogadishu. The fighting, which killed two people, began due to a disagreement over the ownership of a livestock pasture. As of yet, no mediation of a ceasefire between the clans has occurred.[6] 
  • European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) officials signed an agreement in which the EU pledged to provide €165 million ($187.5 million USD) worth of funding for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) over the next seven months. The money will be primarily used for paying salaries, maintaining training facilities, as well as for covering organization’s operational costs. As one of AMISOM’s primary donors, this is the 14th similar pledges of funding the EU has made since the peacekeeping organization’s creation in 2007.[7]
[1] “Drone crashes in Yemeni province of Marib, witnesses, local official say,” Reuters, October 19, 2015. Available:
[2] Mohammed Albasha, Twitter, October 20, 2015. Available:
“U.N. envoy urges Yemen parties to make peace talks in Geneva a success,” Reuters, October 19, 2015. Available:
[3] Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen rebels push pro-gov’t troops out of southern province,” AP, October 16, 2015. Available:
[4] “Violent battles in Taiz.. and the coalition targets al Houthi sites in Sana’a,” Al Masdar, October 20, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
“Local residents in Mashra’ah and Hadnan near Jabal Sabr cut a path to break the siege on Taiz city,” Al Masdar, October 19, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[5] Fred Mukinda, “Five Kenyans wanted over Al-Shabaab links,” Daily Nation, October 20, 2015. Available:
Nancy Agutu, “Police release names, photos of five Kenyans wanted over al Shabaab link,” The Star, October 20, 2015. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Tribal fighting leaves two dead in Afgoye town,” Shabelle News, October20, 2015. Available:
[7] “AU and EU sign an agreement for 165 million Euros funding air for AMISOM,” Shabelle News, October 20, 2015. Available:
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