Somalilandsun – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is consolidating its hold on al-Mukalla, the port capital of Yemen’s Hadhramaut Province where it staged a jailbreak earlier this month. Yesterday, the jihadist group seized control of the airport and a military base, and reportedly reached an agreement with local tribal leaders to govern the area. AQAP is setting up 51-person local council as an administration. “This is dangerous. We know what their orientation is,” a local leader told reporters, but said it was necessary to prevent a violent confrontation. An airstrike in Shabwa Province, believed to be from an American drone, might have killed a provincial AQAP commander.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire among all parties in Yemen yesterday, saying it is “the best way out of a drawn-out war with terrifying implications for regional stability.” The statement was part of a far-ranging speech at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. He is expected to name Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed, currently the top U.N. diplomat working on the ebola crisis, as the new special envoy to Yemen today.