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: UN Security Council to provide more details of Stockholm agreement; UAE and Kuwait plan to stabilize Yemeni currency

Horn of Africa: South West State senators condemn arrest of former deputy al Shabaab leader; unknown assailants kill head of South West State’s parliamentary committee on security in Baidoa; Ethiopia prepares to withdraw troops from Eritrean border

Yemen Security Brief

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths announced that the UN Security Council will discuss further details of the Stockholm agreement on December 14. The details will include a Security Council resolution outlining a mechanism for monitoring the parties’ implementation of the agreement. Griffiths announced that retired Dutch Major General Patrick Cammaert agreed to work in Yemen as the UN representative to monitor implementation of the agreement. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted that this is an elementary agreement but that all parties are eager to move forward. Griffiths added that neither party has signed the agreement, but that each party agreed to the text as it stands.[1]

The Central Bank of Yemen announced on December 14 that it expects two billion U.S. dollars in deposits from the UAE and one billion U.S. dollars in deposits from Kuwait in an effort to halt the decline of the Yemeni rial. The UN announced on December 4 that the Hadi government would need billions of dollars to fund its 2019 budget and avoid a currency collapse. Saudi Arabia announced a deposit of two billion U.S. dollars in January 2018 and granted 200 million U.S. dollars in early October.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Somali Federal Government (SFG) senators from South West State released a statement condemning the arrest of former deputy al Shabaab leader and South West presidential candidate Mukhtar Robow on December 13. Ethiopian soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and SFG police arrested Robow in Baidoa on December 13. The South West senators criticized AMISOM for interfering in internal Somali politics and working with the SFG to meddle in the upcoming South West elections. The senators recommended postponing the elections, which are scheduled for December 19, in order to let Robow participate. Baidoa residents continued protesting Robow’s arrest on December 14. Ethiopian AMISOM forces deployed at least one armored vehicle to Baidoa.[3]

Unknown assailants killed the head of South West State’s parliamentary subcommittee on security as clashes between armed protestors and police occurred in Baidoa, Bay region, southern Somalia on December 14.[4]

Ethiopian military officials announced on December 14 that the military will redeploy troops away from Eritrean border due to improved relations with Eritrea. Officials did not specify the number of troops or to where they will be deployed. Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace agreement in July to end a 20-year border conflict.[5]

[1] “Joint press encounter with Swedish Foreign Minister and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Martin Griffiths on Intra-Yemeni Consultations,” United Nations Secretary-General, December 13, 2018,; and “UN Yemen envoy pushes Security Council for robust truce monitoring,” Michelle Nichols, Reuters, December 14, 2018,

[2]  “Central Bank of Yemen expects deposits of $billion from the UAE and Kuwait,” Al Jarida, December 14, 2018,

[3] Harun Maruf, Twitter, December 14, 2018,; “Gulf of Aden Security Review - December 13, 2018,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, December 13, 2018,; Radio Dalsan, Twitter, December 14, 2018,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, December 14, 2018,

[4] Harun Maruf, Twitter, December 14, 2018,

[5] Elias Meseret, “Ethiopia moving troops from Eritrean border amid new peace,” Associated Press, December 14, 2018,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Jan '19
Dec '18
Nov '18