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 Special Envoy meets with former President Saleh in Sana’a; financial crisis threatens Yemen’s food supply; government and popular resistance forces clash with al Houthi-Saleh fighters in Hajjah; Russian representatives delay UNSC decree on Yemen; Hadi government and popular resistance forces seize mountain near the Bab al Mandeb Strait

Horn of Africa: Somali security officials seize explosives and arms outside of Mogadishu; alleged al Shabaab recruiter kills four police officers in Kapenguria County, Kenya; al Shabaab militants clash with local militias near Harardhere, Mudug region

Yemen Security Brief

  • UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed met with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana’a on July 14 to discuss the suspended peace talks, which are scheduled to resume on July 15. The Special Envoy is also expected to meet with al Houthi delegates on July 14. The Hadi government and al Houthi-Saleh delegations expressed reluctance to return to the peace talks in Kuwait, and neither delegation has departed Yemen as of July 14.[1]
  • International banks are increasingly unwilling to provide lines of credit to Yemeni importers, leaving Yemen on the brink of famine. More than $200 million is frozen in Yemen’s banks due to the country’s internal banking crisis and its subsequent isolation from the international financial system.[2]
  • Government and popular resistance forces clashed with al Houthi-Saleh forces in Haradh district, Hajjah governorate on July 14. Al Houthi-Saleh forces approached the Saudi-Yemeni border on July 13, causing Saudi ground forces to mobilize toward the border. [3]
  • The Russian delegation to the UN Security Council is reportedly obstructing the passage of a Presidential Statement issued by the head of the Security Council on Yemen. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reportedly requested a Presidential Statement on July 12 to encourage the warring parties in Yemen to return to peace talks in Kuwait, which are set to resume on July 15.[4]
  • Hadi government and popular resistance forces seized Mt. Kahboub in the Bab al Mandeb area, Lahij governorate on July 14. The Saudi-led coalition provided air support for the advance. The Bab al Mandeb is a strategic strait located between the southwestern tip of Yemen and the Horn of Africa.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali security and intelligence personnel seized multiple explosive-laden vehicles outside Mogadishu on July 14. The Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) seized a suspected suicide vehicle-borne explosive device (SVBIED) that al Shabaab may have intended to detonate at the Maka al Mukarama Hotel in Mogadishu, according to NISA officials. Government officials planned to meet at the hotel on July 14. Security personnel also seized a van transporting explosives and small arms outside Mogadishu in Elasha Biyaha in Lower Shabelle region on July 13.[6]
  • An alleged al Shabaab recruiter killed at least four Kenyan police officers at Kapenguria Police Station in West Pokot in Kapenguria County, Kenya on July 14. Omar Eurmod opened fire on the officers at the Kapenguria Police Station as he was being processed for alleged connections to al Shabaab. Officials offered conflicting reports on how Eurmod obtained the weapon. Kenyan Special Forces arrived to secure the station, but Eurmod’s status is unknown.[7]
  • Al Shabaab militants clashed with local militias in villages near Harardhere in Mudug region on July 13. Harardhere serves as al Shabaab’s strategic and financial center of operations. Local residents are reportedly unhappy with al Shabaab’s execution of two men accused of killing civilians in Harardhere on July 7.[8]

[2] “Exclusive: Yemen slides closer to famine as frozen bank funds curb food imports,” Reuters, July 14, 2016,
[3] “Heavy clashes in Haradh on the Yemeni Saudi border between the national army and the al Houthis” al Masdar, July 13, 2016,; and “Saudi military reinforcements to the border with Yemen,” July 13, 2016,
[4] “Backstage disagreement in the Security Council with Russia on Yemen,” al Masdar, July 14, 2016,
[5] “Army and resistance in the Lahij expel rebels from Kahboub mountain chain,” Barakish, July 14, 2016,
[6] “Breaking: Intelligence agency foils terror attack on Mogadishu hotel,” Goobjoog News, July 14, 2016,; and “Forces seize explosives-laden Car near Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, July 14, 2016,
[7] “Five Kenyan police officer killed in Al Shabaab attack,” Shabelle News, July 14, 2016,; and “Suspected Islamist recruiter kills four at Kenyan police station - officer,” Goobjoog News, July 14, 2016,
[8] “Tension rises high near Al Shabaab-controlled town,” Shabelle News, July 13, 2016,
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