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: GCC announces conference in Riyadh to discuss the Yemeni peace process; STC president demands right of self-determination and inclusion in UN negotiations; demonstrators protest over economic grievances blamed on the Hadi government in Aden

Horn of Africa:  Al Shabaab occupies district in Gedo region near Ethiopian border; Somali security forces arrest up to 700 al Shabaab suspects in Mogadishu; al Shabaab ambushes Ugandan AMISOM troops near Qoryoley town, Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab kidnaps Red Crescent aid workers near Baidoa town, Bay region, southwestern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) announced that it will host a conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to discuss the Yemeni political process on August 13. Hadi government Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghr, Secretary General of the GCC Abdul Latif Bin Rashid al Zayani, and other representatives from GCC member countries and international organizations working in Yemen will attend the conference. The UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths held a meeting with Yemeni public figures including activists who are opposed to the legitimacy of the Hadi government according to a source in attendance in London on August 7.[1]

President of the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC) Aydarus al Zubaidi stressed southern Yemen’s right of self-determination during an interview on August 10. Zubaidi also blamed the Hadi government for the economic crisis in Aden city, southern Yemen. Zubaidi asked that the demands of the STC not be ignored during the conference in Riyadh on August 13 and reiterated that the UN negotiations must include the STC. Zubaidi threatened to seize al Hudaydah and spoil UN negotiations if his demands are not met.[2]

Yemeni citizens protested poor economic conditions for the seventh day in a row on August 10 in Aden city, southern Yemen. Protesters demonstrated against rising costs of living, a reduction in wages, failure of the government to provide basic public services, and corruption. Protesters condemned the Hadi government and blamed its economic policies for the rise in food prices. [3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab occupied the district of Geedweyne in Gedo Region, southwestern Somalia, on August 10. The district is located near the town of Dolow on the Ethiopian border. Shabaab claimed seizing the town in a report in al Andalus media. Residents said they saw hundreds of Shabaab fighters armed with small arms and RPGs in the town, according to the Somali website Mareeg.[4]

Somali security forces arrested up to 700 suspected al Shabaab members in Mogadishu on August 9. The Somali National Army and Somali police and intelligence officials carried out the operations in Wabari district and its environs. Somali officials claimed to arrest a man suspected of multiple assassinations in Mogadishu in recent weeks.[5]

Al Shabaab killed seven Ugandan soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in an ambush Gaywarow town, Lower Shabelle region on August 9. Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM forces launched an operation on Gaywarow town on August 8.[6]

Likely al Shabaab militants kidnapped five Somali Red Crescent aid workers in Busley village near Baidoa town, southwestern Somalia on August 9.[7]

[1] “A conference in Riyadh to redefine the peaceful solution in Yemen,” Mareb Press, August 10, 2018,; and “The Special Envoy and Yemeni figures discuss the resumption of the political process,” UN Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, August 8, 2018,
[2] Hani bin Brek, Twitter, August 10, 2018,; “President Zubaidi in an interview with the channel ‘Abu Dhabi:’ Any exclusion of the STC will lead to failure,” STC Aden, August 10, 2018,; and “President of the Southern Tranistional Council Aydarus al Zubaidi: Our fate rests in Hadi’s hands,” Aden Lng, August 10, 2018,
[3] “Protests in Aden against the Yemeni Government,” Erem News, August 10, 2018,; “Protests against Hadi gov’t corruption continue in Aden,” YPA Agency, August 9, 2018; and Aden 24, Twitter, August 9, 2018,
[4] “Somali Islamist group seizes near Kenyan border town,” Mareeg, August 10, 2018,; and “Al Shabaab takes control of neighborhood near Dolow,” Radio Kulmiye, August 10, 2018,
[5] “Nearly 700 arrested in security swoop in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, August 9, 2018,
[6] “7 AU soldiers killed by Al Shabaab in Somalia,” Mareeg, August 9, 2018,
[7] “5 Somali Red Crescent aid workers kidnapped,” Anadolu Agency, August 9, 2018,; and “5 aid workers abducted in southern Somalia,” Xinhua, August 10, 2018,

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