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: Yemeni president meets with presidential committee to discuss the Yemeni government’s response to ongoing al Houthi protests; Yemeni military clashes with al Houthi militants in al Jawf; al Houthi militants kidnap university professor and local news photographer in Amran; AQAP militants clash with al Houthi militants in al Bayda; Yemeni military clashes with suspected AQAP militants in Hadramawt; suspected AQAP militants clash with Yemeni military in Abyan
Horn of Africa: AMISOM and Somali National Army posture for continued offensive against al Shabaab in southern and central Somalia; Somaliland security forces seize disputed territory in Sool region; suspected clan militia raids village in Kenya’s North Eastern Province
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with the Presidential Organization for the Popular Alignment and Protection of National Interests, led by Shura Council member Yahya Hussein Arashi, in Sana’a on August 27 to discuss the Yemeni government’s response to the ongoing al Houthi protests. Within the meeting, Hadi criticized the al Houthis for attacking Amran while the Yemeni military was fighting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Hadramawt. Hadi added that rebellion interferes with Yemen’s unity and efforts to implement the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference. Following the meeting, the Presidential Organization for the Popular Alignment and Protection of National Interests released a statement, calling for Yemeni citizens to participate in implementing the following recommendations: protecting Yemen’s national interests from the threat of terrorism and violence, assisting with the implementation of the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference, disarming all militias and armed groups in Yemen, promoting economic reform and social justice, and mending differences between conflicting Yemeni political parties.
- The Yemeni military, supported by al Islah Party tribesmen, clashed with al Houthi militants in al Ghayl, al Jawf on August 25, killing 12 al Houthi militants and three al Islah Party tribesmen. Separately, the Yemeni military, supported by al Islah Party tribesmen, clashed with al Houthi militants in Halwan, al Ghayl, and al Saqia areas of al Jawf on August 26. Seven al Houthi militants and three al Islah Party tribesmen were killed in the fighting. Anonymous local sources reported that al Islah Party tribesmen seized a major al Houthi camp in al Jawf following the clashes.
- Al Houthi militants kidnapped Dr. Muhammad Abdullah al Makthi, a University of Amran professor, in Amran on August 26. Separately, al Houthi militants kidnapped Abdullah Qawza, a photographer for local news station, and looted two cameras from his home in Amran on August 26.
- AQAP militants clashed with al Houthi militants in Rada'a, al Bayda on August 26, killing one al Houthi militant.
- Yemeni military helicopters and air planes bombed suspected AQAP camps in Ser Valley, Hadramawt on August 27. Separately, soldiers from the Yemeni First Regional Command raided a suspected AQAP safe house and clashed with suspected AQAP militants in the al Aqad area in al Qatan, Hadramawt on August 27, killing two soldiers and wounding another. Following the clashes, the Yemeni soldiers seized phones, computers, and plans for potential AQAP operations.
- Suspected AQAP militants attacked the Yemeni 115th Infantry Brigade at the brigade’s base in Lawder, Abyan on August 26. No casualties have been reported.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Somali National Army (SNA) Deputy Commander General Abdirizak Khalif Elmi confirmed the recent commencement of an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and SNA offensive, dubbed Operation Indian Ocean, against al Shabaab in southern and central Somalia on August 27. The governor of Hiraan region, Abdifatah Hassan Afrah, also announced on August 27 that AMISOM and SNA forces are prepared to conduct operations to secure key supply lines, currently blocked by al Shabaab militants, leading to Bulo-Burde, Hiraan region. Finally, local sources indicate that an unspecified number of Ethiopian AMISOM troops crossed the Ethiopian-Somali border near Dolow district, Gedo region on August 26 travelling in the direction of Bay and Bakool regions to support the renewed operation.
- Somaliland security forces seized Saaxdheer, located within territory disputed by the Somaliland, Puntland, and Khatumo administrations, in Sool region on August 26. A Somaliland security officer reported that the Somaliland forces clashed with Khatumo forces before seizing the locality, arresting five Khatumo officials and disrupting the planned inauguration of the recently elected Khatumo administration president.
- A suspected Garre clan militia raided Guba village, killing at least eight people, in Mandera County within Kenya’s North Eastern Province on August 26. Kenyan police officials report that the raid came as retaliation for the Degodia clan militia raid of Rhamu, a primarily Garre town, on August 24. The conflict between the rival Degodia and Garre clans has killed at least ten people over the past week.