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: Hadi’s foreign minister meets with UN Special Envoy for Yemen; Saudi-led coalition targets al Houthi-Saleh positions in Hajjah and al Jawf governorates; al Houthis establish committee to treat wounded soldiers in Taiz; al Houthi-Saleh forces clash with Hadi troops in Nihm, Sana’a governorate

Horn of Africa: African Union announces plan to cover funding gaps to AMISOM; Ethiopian AMISOM forces allegedly kill 14 civilians near Baidoa, Bay region; Somaliland and Puntland forces de-escalate in Sanaag region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Abdul Malik al Mikhlafi, Yemeni foreign minister and head of the government delegation aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, met with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on July 18 and planned to meet with the entire Hadi delegation on July 19. Hadi’s delegation arrived in Kuwait on July 16 to rejoin the peace talks. Four new delegates, among them independent and Islah-affiliated politicians, replaced four former members of the Hadi delegation including Hadi government minister Ezzadine al Asbahi. Separately, Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghir departed Aden for Riyadh on July 19, where he will meet with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and discuss matters pertaining to the peace talks in Kuwait.[1]
  • Saudi-led coalition airstrikes targeted al Houthi-Saleh positions and weapons caches in Haradh district in Hajjah governorate, near the Yemeni-Saudi border, on July 19. Saudi military reinforcements amassed on the Saudi side of the border near Haradh on July 13 after al Houthi-Saleh forces attempted to advance towards the border, according to a Saudi news outlet. The coalition also conducted two air raids against al Houthi-Saleh positions in al Saqiya in al Maslub district in al Jawf governorate, and Hadi government and popular resistance forces clashed with al Houthi-Saleh fighters in nearby al Zaraqa.[2]
  • The al Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee formed a committee to treat and heal those injured in fighting in Taiz under the al Houthi-Saleh Taiz governor, Abdu al Janadi. Local leader Abdul Salam al Dahbili, local leader Mohammed Abdullah Othman, Judge Najib Mohammed al Izzi, Judge Ahmed Amin al Masawi and Doctor Watheq al Faqih will also serve on the committee. An al Houthi fighter also killed an al Houthi-Saleh leader and wounded seven others in Taiz city on July 19 following internal disagreements.[3]
  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces clashed with Hadi government and popular resistance fighters in al Mujawihah and Bani Faraj areas in Nihm district, Sana’a governorate on July 18. Forces aligned with the Hadi government repelled an al Houthi-Saleh advance with support from coalition airstrikes. Forces aligned with Hadi and the al-Houthi Saleh alliance have contested control of strategic mountaintop locations in Nihm district in the past month.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The African Union (AU) announced a plan to raise $325 million annually to fund the continent’s multiple peacekeeping operations at a summit meeting in Rwanda on July 18. The AU plans to raise the funds by instituting a .02 percent tax on imported goods. The AU will appropriate a majority of the funds to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The European Union (EU) cut its funding to AMISOM by 20 percent in February 2016.[5]
  • Ethiopian AMISOM forces allegedly killed 14 unarmed civilians near Baidoa town in Bay region on July 17. The soldiers opened fire on a group of elders and Quranic teachers as the group prayed over the body of a dying man. AMISOM has launched an investigation into the incident.[6]
  • Elders in Sanaag region are leading the peace efforts between the self-declared region of Somaliland, which operates independently of the Somali Federal Government, and the semi-autonomous Puntland region. Somaliland and Puntland security forces clashed near Badhan town in Sanaag region on July 18. Border disputes between the two parties are common in the Sanaag and Sool regions.[7]
[1]  “Speech by Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Yemen, at the opening of the Yemeni peace talks in Kuwait,” The United Nations Office at Geneva, July 18, 2016,; “UN envoy continues consultations to bridge the gap in views between the parties Yemenis in Kuwait,” al Masdar, July 19, 2016,; “Yemeni government delegation arrives in Kuwait to resume consultations for Yemeni peace,” KUNA, July 16, 2016,;
"Amendments to the government delegation to Kuwait ... a reflection of convergence between Hadi and al Islah," Akhbar al Yemen, July 19, 2016,; and “Prime Minister leaves Aden headed towards Saudi Arabia,” al Masdar, July 19, 2016,
[2] "Alliance destroys tanks and weapon store of the al Houthis in Haradh," Barakish, July 19, 2016,; “Saudi military reinforcements to the border with Yemen,” al Arabiya, July 13, 2016,; and “Two alliance raids target al Houthi positions in al Jawf and destroy artillery and a vehicle,” al Masdar, July 19, 2016,
[3] “Formation of a committee of communication and coordination for the treatment of wounded and deceived sons of Taiz (corrected)” Saba News, July 19, 2016,; and “Al Houthi leader shot dead by Houthi gunman after a dispute broke out between the two in western Taiz,” al Masdar, July 19, 2016,
[4] "Fighting is fiercest in Nihm east of the capital Sana'a," Barakish, July 19, 2016,
[5] “The African Union adopts the AU Peace Fund,” African Union Peace and Security, July 18, 2016,; and “Boost for Amisom as AU adopts Peace Fund to finance peace operations,” Goobjoog News, July 19, 2016,
[6] “Somali MP slams ‘mass murder’ by Ethiopian troops,” Shabelle News, July 19, 2016,; “AMISOM to probe ‘civilian massacre’ in Somalia,” Shabelle News, July 19, 2016,; and “Ethiopian troops shoot 13 unarmed civilians in Somalia,” Mareeg News, July 18, 2016,
[7] “Relative calm returns to Somalia town after battle,” Shabelle News, July 19, 2016,
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