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: Thousands rally in Aden to celebrate the STC’s takeover of the city; Yemeni Minister of Information instructs media organizations not to work with the STC

Horn of Africa: SNA forces conduct operation targeting al Shabaab in Lower Shabelle region; Jubbaland president meets with UN representative, Ethiopian officials in Kismayo

Yemen Security Brief

Tens of thousands of southern Yemenis rallied in Aden, Yemen’s de facto capital, on August 15 in support of the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a southern Yemeni secessionist group. The rally commemorated the STC’s recent seizure of Aden. Southerners traveled from Abyan, Shabwah, and Hadramawt governorates to join the demonstration. The STC released a statement calling for President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognized government to let the STC handle matters related to southern Yemen. A delegation of Saudi officials arrived in Aden later on August 15 for discussions with the STC. Saudi Arabia and President Hadi’s government have called on the STC to withdraw from the military positions it seized when it captured the city.[1]

President Hadi’s Minister of Information, Muammar al Eryani, instructed media organizations not to cooperate with the STC in Aden on August 15. Eryani referred to the STC as a rebel organization in his statement.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

The Somali National Army (SNA) conducted an operation targeting al Shabaab near Torotorow village in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on August 15.[3]

UN Special Representative for Somalia James Swan met with Jubbaland President Ahmed Madobe in Kismayo, a port city and the capital of Jubbaland State in southern Somalia, on August 15. The officials discussed the upcoming Jubbaland presidential elections, which the Jubbaland electoral commission recently rescheduled from August 23 to August 19. Members of Madobe’s administration separately met with Ethiopian intelligence officials in Kismayo on August 14, according to local media sources. The Ethiopian officials requested that Jubbaland opposition candidates be permitted to register and that Somali Federal Government officials be allowed to travel to Kismayo during the elections.[4]

Visit our Yemen and Somalia story streams.

[1] Fawaz Salman, “Tens of thousands rally in Yemen’s Aden to support separatists takeover,” Reuters, August 15, 2019,; “People of the south announce unequivocal support to the steps of the southern forces and the Transitional Council to establish security and protect citizens and renew their mandate to President al Zubaidi, STC Aden, August 15, 2019,;  “Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 14, 2019,” The Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 14, 2019,; Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, August 15, 2019,; “Yemeni official says no talks before separatists withdraw in Aden,” Al Jazeera, August 14, 2019; Anuj Chopra, Twitter, August 15, 2019,

[2] “Minister of Information instructs media organizations not to cooperate with the rebels in Aden,” Saba New, August 14, 2019,

[3] Harun Maruf, Twitter, August 15, 2019,

[4] “Madobe rejects Ethiopian intelligence demand on Jubbaland election affairs,” Goobjoog, August 15, 2019,; “Jubbaland Electoral Body Announce New Schedule for Presidential Poll,” Radio Dalsan, August 14, 2019,; and Garowe Online, Twitter, August 15, 2019,

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