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: Sudan’s military council denies reports of partial Sudanese withdrawal from Yemen; al Islahi forces clash with tribe in Ma’rib governorate; Hadi government-aligned forces shoot down al Houthi drone in al Hudaydah governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks KDF base near Kenya-Somalia border; Kenya to request UN Security Council designate al Shabaab as a terrorist organization; Jubbaland administration denies reports of Ethiopian occupation of Kismayo; US Embassy issues travel warning for Ethiopia

Yemen Security Brief

The Chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, General Abdul Fattah al Burhan, denied recent media reports that Sudanese forces had partially withdrawn from Yemen on July 31. Burhan stated that Sudanese forces remain in Yemen as part of an agreement with the Saudi-led coalition.[1]

Members of the al Mash’al tribe clashed with forces aligned with the Islamist al Islah party in Safir district in Ma’rib governorate in central Yemen on July 30. Al Islah claimed that the confrontation began when members of the tribe blocked an oil transport route in the governorate. Members of the al Mash’al tribe claimed that the clashes began when al Islahi forces confiscated the vehicle of a tribal leader.[2]

Hadi government-aligned forces claimed to shoot down an al Houthi reconnaissance drone in al Darayhimi district in al Hudaydah governorate in western Yemen on July 31.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants attacked a Kenya Defence Force (KDF) base with mortars in Elwaq, a town on the Kenyan-Somali border, on July 31. Al Shabaab inflicted no casualties.[4]

Kenyan Representative to the UN Macharia Kamau stated on July 30 that Kenya will submit a proposal to the UN Security Council to designate al Shabaab as a terrorist organization. The UN has already designated al Qaeda, of which al Shabaab is an affiliate, as a terrorist organization.[5]

The government of Jubbaland state in southern Somalia claimed on July 30 that its security forces were in control of the state capital, Kismayo, and denied reports that Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) had recently occupied the city. ENDF units reportedly deployed to Kismayo Airport and took control of multiple positions in the city on July 29, but there have been conflicting media reports.[6]

The US Embassy in Ethiopia issued a security alert for Ethiopia on July 31 due to sporadic civil unrest and communication disruptions throughout much of the country. The US Embassy in Ethiopia additionally instructed US citizens not to travel to Ethiopia’s eastern Somali region due to the threat of terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and landmines.[7]

Visit our Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan story streams. 

[1] “Al Burhan confirms the presence of Sudanese forces in Yemen,” Yemen Akhbar, July 31, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review,” Critical Threats Project, July 24, 2019,

[2] “New clashes in Ma’rib between Islah and tribes and the rising popular rejection of the presence of Islah in the province,” Hadramawt Net, July 31, 2019,; "Violent clashes near the field of Asaad Kamil oil in Marib," Mareb Today, July 30, 2019,; "A cautious truce is taking place between the tribes of Marib and the Muslim Brotherhood ... and my people's rejection of reform in the governorate," Mareb Today, July 31,2019,; and "The tension between the tribes and the militias of the Islah Party in Safer has increased. The last is the arbitrariness of tribesmen, and the army and security guns are directed against the people of Marib," Mareb Today, July 30, 2019,

[3] “Joint forces drop a Houthi reconnaissance plane in Durayhimi,” Hadramawt Net, July 31, 2019,القوات-المشتركة-تسقط-طائرة-استطلاعية-حوثية-في-الدريهمي-صور.html.

[4] Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 31, 2019,

[5] “Kenya seeks UN to classify al Shabaab as terrorist group,” Daily Nation, July 31, 2019,; and “United Nations designated terrorist groups and targeted sanctions,” UNODC, Jun 2018,

[6] “Jubbaland dismisses report of Kismayo security taken over by Ethiopian troops,” Hiraan, July 30, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 30, 209,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 30, 2019,

[7]“Travel Alert: Ethiopia – Level 2: Exercise increased caution,” U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, July 30, 2019,

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