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-led talks end without agreement on al Hudaydah troop withdrawal; Morocco withdraws from Saudi-led coalition and recalls ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM conducts airstrikes near Gendershe, Barrire; Kenya joins the Global Coalition against ISIS

Yemen Security Brief

The office of the UN Secretary General stated that the UN Redeployment Coordination Council (RCC) for al Hudaydah reached a preliminary compromise “pending further consultation by the parties with their respective leaders” on February 7. The Chair of the RCC stated that he expected to reconvene consultation in the week of February 11 to finalize the details of redeployments. Saudi media reported that RCC-led talks ended without an agreement on a troop withdrawal from al Hudaydah city and al Hudaydah, Ras Issa, and Saleef ports after talks on February 6. The Hadi government accused the al Houthi delegates of refusing to discuss implementation mechanisms of the Stockholm agreement during the three days of talks. Saudi press also alleged that the parties left without setting a new date for discussing a withdrawal.[1]

Morocco stopped participating in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and recalled its ambassador from Saudi Arabia. Moroccan officials did not specify when Morocco halted its participation in the coalition or why it chose to do so.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting al Shabaab militants near Gendershe in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on February 6. The strike killed 11 militants. AFRICOM also conducted an airstrike targeting al Shabaab militants near Barrire in Lower Shabelle region on February 7. The strike killed four militants. AFRICOM commander General Thomas Waldehauser told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on February 7 that airstrikes are insufficient to defeat al Shabaab. He added that the Somali National Army (SNA) must take more responsibility for Somalia’s security.[3]

Kenya joined the Global Coalition against the Islamic State on February 6. The coalition brings together 79 countries that collaborate to dismantle the Islamic State’s networks through activities like information sharing and countering the group’s propaganda.[4]

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[1] “Note to Correspondents: Meeting of the Redeployment Coordination Committee,” United Nations Secretary General, February 7, 2019,; Al Arabiya, Twitter, February 8, 2019,;and Al Arabiya, Twitter, February 8, 2019,

[2] “Morocco re-evaluates role in Saudi-led Yemen war coalition,” Associated Press, February 7, 2019,; and “Morocco suspends participation in Saudi-led war in Yemen,” Al Jazeera, February 8, 2019,

[3] “US General- Strikes in Somalia won’t stop al Shabaab,” VOA, February 7, 2019,; and “Al Shabaab degraded by U.S., Federal Government of Somalia” U.S. Africa Command, February 8, 2019,

[4] “Kenya joins global coalition against the Islamic state,” Daily Nation, February 7, 2019,

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