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: Hadi government pulls out of peace talks; coalition launches ground offensive in Ma’rib; U.S. airstrike kills 4 AQAP militants near al Mukalla

Horn of Africa: Ugandan president provides updated casualty figures for Janale base attack; al Shabaab militants fire mortars at AMISOM troops in Lego, Lower Shabelle

Yemen Security Brief

  • The exiled Yemeni government led by President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi pulled out of UN-sponsored peace talks that were scheduled to take place in Oman this week. The Hadi government stated on September 13 that it would not negotiate with the al Houthis without the complete implementation of UNSCR 2216. This condition requires the al Houthis to disarm, withdraw from seized territory, and recognize the legitimacy of the Hadi government before negotiations can move forward.[1]
  • Yemeni troops loyal to President Hadi, popular resistance militias, and Saudi-led coalition forces launched a combined ground and air offensive on pro-al Houthi positions in Ma’rib governorate on September 13. The coalition has mobilized thousands of troops to Ma’rib in recent weeks. The pro-government and coalition forces seized al Houthi sites to the west of Ma’rib city.[2]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) confirmed that a reported U.S. airstrike killed five Ansar al Sharia militants in the Riyan region near al Mukalla, Hadramawt on September 12. This strike comes three days after another U.S. strike killed four AQAP militants in the same region.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda released higher than previously reported casualty figures for the September 1 Janale military base attack in Lower Shabelle region. He said that 19 soldiers have been confirmed dead, and 6 are still unaccounted for, making al Shabaab’s earlier claims of holding captured prisoners a possibility. [4]
  • Al Shabaab militants have launched mortars and opened fire at African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) positions in Lego town, Lower Shabelle. AMISOM peacekeepers were able to fight off the militants, effectively thwarting the attack. Casualty figures are unavailable at this time. An al Shabaab attack on the Lego base killed at least 50 Burundian soldiers at the end of June.[5] 

[1] Mohammed Ghobari. “Exiled Yemeni government pulls out of planned peace talks,” Reuters, September 13, 2015. Available:
[2] “Yemeni forces launch operation to retake Ma’rib,” Al Arabiya, September 13, 2015. Available:
“Hours after the coalition ground intervention… the cleansing of Tabat al Marsariya and sites in al Jufaynah from the al Houthis,” Barakish, September 13, 2015 [Arabic] Available:
“Details from the first day of the decisive battle in Ma’rib… the desert creeps toward the mountain,” Al Masdar, September 13, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[3] “Breaking new from Yemen- Al Qaeda confirms the deaths of five of its members in al Mukalla,”, September 13, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[4] Ken Moritsugu, “Ugandan leader blames own commanders for laxity in deadly Somali militant attack,” Associated Press, September 12, 2015. Available:
[5] “Somalia – Al Shabaab fires mortar rounds on AMISOM base in Leego,” Shabelle Media Network, September 12, 2015. Available:
Arrow down red
Oct '15
Sep '15
Aug '15