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: al Houthi-Saleh forces conduct cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia; al Houthi-Saleh Ministry of Health recognizes cholera outbreak; Hadi government forces clash with al Houthi-Saleh forces near Kirsh, Lahij governorate; coalition airstrikes target Republican Guard north of Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Somali officials announce new date for presidential contest; Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud travels to Ethiopia for IGAD summit

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces conducted cross-border attacks targeting Saudi military positions in southern Saudi Arabia. Pro-al Houthi media released a video claiming that al Houthi-Saleh forces control several Saudi military outposts in Asir province on December 8. A landmine killed a Saudi border guard in Jazan province on December 9. Al Houthi-Saleh forces likely seek to impose high costs on Saudi Arabia for intervening into Yemen’s civil war. [1]
  • The al Houthi-Saleh Ministry of Health acknowledged the cholera outbreak in Yemen. The Director of Disease Control in Sana’a announced that there were 78 cases of cholera and 11 deaths throughout 15 of Yemen’s 22 governorates. Al Houthi-Saleh forces have prevented foreign humanitarian aid convoys from entering their territory.[2]
  • Forces loyal to Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government clashed with al Houthi-Saleh forces near Kirsh, Lahij governorate on December 8. Kirsh is located along a major highway that links Taiz and Aden.  Hadi government forces are attempting to take control of Taiz city.[3]
  • Saudi-led coalition airstrikes targeted a Republican Guard camp north of Sana’a city on December 8. The Republican Guard is an elite force loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali officials announced December 28 as the new date for the country’s presidential election. Officials have delayed the election multiple times. Current Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who has held the office as a caretaker since his term officially ended in September, is running for a second term. Members of parliament from both the Lower and Upper Houses of parliament will select the president in accordance with Somalia’s constitution. These parliamentary elections are still underway.[5]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will attend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on December 10. The bloc of East African nations is expected to discuss security concerns in Somalia and South Sudan.[6]
[1]“Watch: The Army and People’s Committees storming Saudi Army sites in Asir,” Al Masirah, December 8, 2016,!; and “Saudi Border guard killed in mine blast on Yemen border: agency,” Reuters, December 9, 2016,
[2] “Al Houthi health department says that 89 people died of cholera in 15 governorates,” al Masdar, December 9, 2016,
[3]“Violent clashes in Kirsh with continued shelling,” Aden Tomorrow, December 9, 2016,
[4] “The alliance bombs positions in the capital Sanaa,” Barakish, December 8, 2016,
[5] “Wary of a possible 2017 poll, Somalia fixes Presidential vote for Dec 28,” Goobjoog News, December 9, 2016,
[6] “Somali president jets to Ethiopia for IGAD Summit,” Shabelle News, December 9, 2016,  
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