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 and General People’s Congress representatives agree to UN peace plan; ISIS Wilayat Aden-Abyan and IS Wilayat Sana’a conduct SVBIED and SVEST attacks

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants kill Somali president’s nephew and lawyer in Mogadishu; al Shabaab releases videos of attack on SNA base in Yaqbari-wayne, Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Representatives from the al Houthis and the Yemeni General People’s Congress (GPC) reportedly accepted a United Nations peace plan on October 6. Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh leads the GPC, but it is not clear whether the UN plan was condoned by Saleh or a GPC faction that is attempting to dislodge him. Al Houthi and GPC delegations sent written responses to the UN agreeing to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2216 as part of a broader agreement between all parties involved in the conflict. UNSCR 2216 requires pro-al Houthi forces to disarm and withdraw from seized territory. President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government has refused to conduct peace talks with the al Houthis without the implementation of UNSCR 2216. The al Houthi and GPC delegation reportedly submitted a seven-point agreement that was negotiated in Muscat, Oman in September. The Muscat agreement preserves sanctions on Saleh and al Houthi leadership, calls for a comprehensive ceasefire and the lifting of all blockades, provides for a temporary government led by Prime Minister Khaled Bahah until the formation of a unity government.[1]
  • Attacks by Islamic State in the Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) militants killed 22 people on October 6. ISIS Wilayat Aden-Abyan detonated four suicide vehicle-bound improvised explosive devices (SVBIEDs) in Aden, targeting the Yemeni government’s temporary headquarters, a Saudi-Emirati operations center, and a Saudi-Emirati administrative camp. ISIS Wilayat Sana’a detonated a suicide vest (SVEST) at al Nour mosque in al Houthi-controlled Sana’a.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab gunmen killed Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s nephew and his lawyer on October 7 in the capital city of Mogadishu. The victims were killed in a drive-by shooting, prompting security forces to launch a manhunt for the perpetrators. The militant group has since claimed credit for the attack, stating that the president’s nephew was targeted because he was “a very important official at the presidential palace.”[3]
  • Al Shabaab released photos and videos of their previous attack on a Somali National army (SNA) military base that took place on September 18, in Yaqbari-wayne, in the Lower Shabelle region. The videos and images, which depict the group fighting SNA forces and subsequently destroying equipment and vehicles in the base, call for people to join the group as fighters.[4] 
[1] Khaled Abdullah, “Ex-Yemen president’s party says accepts peace terms,” Reuters, October 7, 2015. Available:
“Al Houthi’s and Saleh’s party confirm their “written commitment” to Security Council resolutions,” Al Masdar, October 7, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
“Emirates movements with prominent leaders from the General People’s Congress to get rid of former president Saleh,”, October 4, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[2] Mohammed Mukhashaf, “Islamic State kills 22 in attacks on Yemen government, Gulf troops, mosque,” Reuters, October 6, 2015. Available:
Pro-ISIS Twitter sources. Sources available upon request.
[3] “Somali president’s nephew killed in an al-Shabaab attack,” BBC, October 7, 2015. Available:
“Somali militants kill president’s nephew in ambush,” Reuters, October 7, 2015. Available:
[4] “Al-Shabaab releases attack last month,” Radio Andalus, October 7, 2015. Available:, Twitter, October 7, 2015. Available: 
View Citations
Arrow down red
Nov '15
Oct '15
Sep '15