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: Abdul Malik al Houthi issues new demands to President Hadi; Yemeni government holds emergency meetings to discuss al Houthi negotiations; Al Houthi militants kidnap Yemeni soldiers in Sana’a; Ansar al Sharia releases statement about killing a spy; unidentified militants attack the 33rd Armored Brigade in Dhaleh; unidentified militants kill senior security official in Dhamar; unidentified tribal militants sabotage oil pipeline in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: Somali security forces violently disperse demonstrators in Bay region; Somali National Army military court sentences two suspected al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu; unidentified assailants attack airport in Mudug region; Kenyan Defense Forces conduct security operation in Kenya’s North Eastern Province

Yemen Security Brief

  • Abdul Malik al Houthi issued a new set of demands via a letter to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi on August 25 in Sana’a. Among the demands, Abdul Malik al Houthi required that the following be met before al Houthi encampments in Sana’a disband: the reinstatement of a fuel subsidy program, dismissal of the current government, partnership in the political decision making process, reforms on oversight and control, reforms on control of media outlets, and oversight to ensure the continuation of aforementioned demands. President Hadi responded to al Houthi’s demands with a letter, but its full contents have not yet been reported. [1]
  • The Yemen government is currently holding an emergency meeting in Sana’a on August 26 to review previous failed negotiations with the al Houthis and Abdul Malik al Houthi’s demands.[2]
  • Al Houthi militants kidnapped an unspecified number of soldiers in Sana’a on August 25, after two al Houthi supporters were killed by soldiers when they failed to stop at a security checkpoint. Major General Yahya al Hauri intervened in the incident and secured the release the soldiers. Separately, al Houthi gunmen also kidnapped a child in Amran on August 25.[3]
  • Ansar al Sharia released a statement via twitter on August 25, stating that they caught and executed in al Hawta, Lahij a spy, Mohammed Abdullah Thabit, accused of working for Yemeni National Security. The execution reportedly took place outside the man’s home and was done by shooting.[4]
  • Unidentified militants attacked armored vehicles from the 33rd Armored Brigade in Dhaleh, injuring three soldiers. No deaths have so far been reported in the ongoing clashes.[5]
  • Unidentified gunmen assassinated a senior security official, the Director of Public Relations and Moral Guidance, in Dhamar on August 26.[6]
  • Unidentified tribal militants detonated explosives near an oil pipeline in Ma’rib on August 26. The pipeline has been targeted by militants multiple times this month.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali security forces opened fire on demonstrators, killing at least one person, in Baidoa, Bay region on August 25. The demonstrators, supporting the unrecognized six-state southwestern regional administration, protested the Somali Federal Government and UN for recognizing the proposed three-state southwestern regional administration. In response to the demonstrations, Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed and UN Special Envoy to Somali Nicholas Kay cancelled a planned visit to the city.[8]
  • The Somali National Army (SNA) military court sentenced two unidentified individuals, allegedly members of al Shabaab, to death after separate trials in Mogadishu on August 26.[9]
  • Unidentified assailants attacked Abdullahi Yusuf International Airport in Galkayo, Mudug region on August 25. The assailants reportedly fired rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) at the airport without inflicting any casualties. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, a Mudug regional administration official reported that the assailants were members of a clan militia, which traditionally supports Puntland’s security forces, operating on the outskirts of the city.[10]
  • Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) troops conducted a security operation on August 26 in response to the ongoing conflict between the Degodia and Garre clan militias in Mandera County in Kenya’s North Eastern Province. The KDF troops killed one suspected militiaman and arrested eight others during the operation.[11]

[1] “Houthi group demands to raise the number 6, contrary to the declared him ‘Abdulmalik al-Huthi text message to Bob,” al Masdar, August 25, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Aajl, bin Dagar Houthi delivers a message from President Hadi,” Barakish, August 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Cabinet reviews the report of the Presidential National Commission in Charge of Negotiating with Abdulmalik al-Huthi,” Saba Net, August 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Houthis release kidnapped soldiers after the killing of two of their followers shot by army troops in Hamedan in Sana’a,” al Masdar, August 25, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Gunmen abduct a child in Hotheon Imran and being taken to an unknown location,” al Masdar, August 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] AQAP Twitter Account
[5] “Three soldiers were injured in an attack on an armored military vehicle,” Barakish, August 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Urgent .. the assassination of a senior security official center of the city of Dhamar,” Barakish, August 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Armed tribesmen blow up oil pipeline in Ma’rib Valley servants,” al Masdar, August 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “SOMALIA: One person killed in Baidoa during a riot demonstration,” RBC Radio, August 25, 2014. Available:
“Two dead in anti government protest in Badoa,” Somali Current, Augusut 25, 2014. Available:
[9] “Somali military court sentences the killer of journalist,” Dalsan Radio, August 26, 2014. Available:
[10] “Members of Puntland military attack Galkayo airport,” Goobjoog News, August 25, 2014. Available:
“Puntland: Monday’s attack on Galkayo airport was carried out by clan militia,” Goobjoog News, August 26, 2014. Available:\
[11] “Suspect killed, 8 arrested over Mandera clashes as calm returns,” Daily Nation, August 26, 2014. Available:
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