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: President Hadi issues speech calling for military readiness in Sana’a; Yemeni Air Force transfers aircraft to Lahij, Taiz, and Hudaydah; Yemeni security forces arrested AQAP militants in Sana’a; suspected AQAP militants ambush Yemeni soldiers in al Bayda; Yemeni security forces arrest suspected AQAP militants in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: AMISOM and Somali National Army forces conduct operations against al Shabaab in Bakool, Gedo, and Hiraan regions; Somali military court sentences seven alleged al Shabaab militants to death in Mogadishu; unidentified gunmen fired upon a crowd in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a speech in Sana’a on August 20 in response to ongoing al Houthi protests throughout the city. President Hadi called for military readiness and also announced the formation of a committee that will travel to Sa’ada to negotiate with Abdul Malik al Houthi, leader of the al Houthi movement. The al Houthis currently surround the capital and are demanding the resignation of Hadi’s government.[1]
  • The Yemeni Air Force transferred dozens of military aircraft from Sana’a to Lahij, Taiz, and Hudaydah, reportedly in anticipation of potential clashes between the Yemeni military and al Houthi militants.[2]
  • Yemeni security forces fought al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants residing in a hotel along Taiz Street in Sana’a on August 20. Following the clashes, Yemeni security forces arrested three militants. No casualties have been reported.[3]
  • Suspected AQAP militants ambushed and killed two Yemeni soldiers from the al Majd Brigade traveling to the al Majd military base in Mukayras along the road in al Mathn, al Bayda on August 20.[4]
  • Yemeni security forces arrested four suspected AQAP militants in Sayun, Hadramawt on August 19.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) forces cleared al Shabaab roadblocks from several roads leading to Hudur, Bakool region on August 20, enabling humanitarian aid to reach the town. Separately, Kenyan AMISOM forces seized Gadon-dawe village in Gedo region from al Shabaab on August 20. A local security official reported that the Kenyan AMISOM forces briefly clashed with al Shabaab militants before the militants fled the village. Finally, the Hiraan regional governor, Abdifatah Hassan Afrah, announced on August 20 that AMISOM and SNA forces will soon deploy along the road linking Beledweyne and Bulo-Burde in Hiraan region in an effort to secure the road from al Shabaab.[6]
  • The SNA military court sentenced seven alleged al Shabaab militants to death in Mogadishu on August 20. A SNA judge convicted the seven individuals of both membership to al Shabaab and murder of Somali government officials in Mogadishu. The military court also sentenced six others to life in prison for conspiring with al Shabaab militants.[7]
  • Unidentified gunmen fired upon a crowd of civilians, killing three, in Mogadishu on August 19. The gunmen reportedly targeted two Somali security officials in the crowd. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.[8]

[1] “President Hadi calls for military readiness and to come out of the meeting made a statement and the formation of a committee to visit Sa’ada and to negotiate with al Houthi,” al Masdar, August 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Important speech of the head of the Yemeni," Barakish, August 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Continuing escalation in the Revolutionary .. three rallies roam the streets of the capital,” Ansarullah, August 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Military sources confirm the transfer of aircraft belonging to the army of Sana’a to the Hajj, Hodeidah, and Taiz as a precaution,” Aden al Ghad, August 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Three AQAP militants arrested on Taiz Street,” al Watanye, August 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Clashes between Yemeni security and armed gunmen in south of Sana’a,” Yemen Press, August 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Recent event: Two soldiers killed when gunmen open fire in Mukayras,” Aden al Ghad, August 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Two soldiers killed when gunmen open fire in Mukayras (Names),”Barakish Net, August 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Two Yemeni soldiers killed when suspected AQAP militants open fire in al Bayda,” al Masdar, August 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Interior announces arrest of 4 suspected AQAP militants in Sayun,” al Masdar, August 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6]“Hudur administration thrives to open blocked roads in the region,” Goobjoog News, August 20, 2014. Available:
“AMISOM forces seize Gadon-dhowe village in Gedo region,” Bar Kulan, August 20, 2014. Available:
“Hiran officials plan to reopen Beledweyne-Bulo-burte highway,” Bar Kulan, August 20, 2014. Available:
[7] “Seven Al-shabab members receive death penalty,” Goobjoog News, August 20, 2014. Available:
[8] “Armed men shot dead three civilians in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, August 20, 2014. Available:
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