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 clarifies latest proposal to reopen Taizi roads; the STC, NRF, and Houthis each unilaterally reopen roads in southern Yemen; Saudi Arabia redeploys Yemeni brigade to Aden to protect PLC
Somalia: Al Shabaab IED targets US-trained forces in Mogadishu; the EU pledges additional financial support to ATMIS
Yemen Security Brief:
UN Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg publicly released his latest proposal to reopen Taiz’s roads on July 7.[i] Grundberg shared the proposal with both sides on July 3 after “bilateral discussions.” Grundberg said the new proposal takes a two-phase approach. The first phase reopens four Taizi roads, including one road “advocated for by Yemeni civil society.” The second phase would reopen “main roads” in Taiz and other governorates. The Yemeni government said that Grundberg did not consult them on the new proposal and released a counterproposal on July 7.[ii]
The Southern Transitional Council (STC), Tariq Saleh’s National Resistance Forces (NRF), and the Houthis each unilaterally reopened roads in southern Yemen on July 7. The Houthis reopened a secondary road near Taiz city on July 7.[iii] The STC may have reopened a road connecting al Dhalea city and Damt, al Dhalea governorate, on July 7.[iv] The Houthis clashed with likely STC-aligned forces on this road on July 8.[v] The NRF also reopened a road connecting Taiz city and Mocha on July 7.[vi]
Saudi Arabia redeployed al Yemen al Saeed Brigades forces in “about 200 pickups” from Saudi Arabia to Aden, Yemen on July 5.[vii] The al Yemen al Saeed Brigades are a Saudi-trained Salafi-majority unit. Saudi Arabia tasked the brigades with protecting the Presidential Leadership Council in Aden.
Somalia Security Brief:
Al Shabaab claimed to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting likely US-trained Danab forces vehicle IVO Weydow district, Mogadishu, on July 8.[viii] Al Shabaab said the attack killed three soldiers and wounded two others. National Intelligence and Security Agency forces reportedly arrested five al Shabaab militants in Weydow on July 5.[ix]
The European Union Political and Security Committee approved additional financial support for the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) on July 6.[x] The EU will add €120 million to the resources it previously mobilized for ATMIS in 2021.
[i] UN Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, “Press Statement by the UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg on Opening Roads in Taiz and Other Governorates,” July 7, 2022, https://osesgy.unmissions.org/press-statement-un-special-envoy-hans-grundberg-opening-roads-taiz-and-other-governorates.
[ii] Abdul Karim Shaiban, Twitter, July 5, 2022, https://twitter.com/Shaiban32/status/1544511127425523713?s=20&t=pqunYYaxwdzrTWEnk-HIQg.
[iii] 26Sep Houthi, “Maj. Gen. al Razami: The other side is still procrastinating and did not attend the round of consultations,” July 7, 2022, https://26sep.net/index.php/local/39523-2022-07-07-11-25-36.
[iv] Al Alam, “Yemen.. signs of a major breakthrough in the closed roads issue,” July 8, 2022, https://www.alalam.ir/news/6258308.
[v] Aden Lang, “al Houthi militia mobilizes to thwart the opening of roads and crossings north of al Dhalea,” July 8, 2022, http://adnlng.info/news/197725/.
[vi] Sadiq Daweed, Twitter, July 7, 2022, https://twitter.com/SDwaid/status/1545017004561731586?s=20&t=t1aLUCREw8Uzkht698BOLg.
[vii] Ali al Sakani, Twitter, July 5, 2022, https://twitter.com/Alsakaniali/status/1544526199518527488?s=20&t=bYUMM5BPGDL8riKdQyotfg.
[viii] Radio al Furqaan, “Explosion Kills SFG Soldiers in Outskirts of Mogadishu,” July 8, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/07/qarax-lagu-dilay-askar-katirsan-df-oo-ka-dhacay-duleedka-muqdisho/.
[ix] Garowe Online, “Al Shabaab terrorists detained near Somalia’s capital ,” July 7, 2022, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/al-shabaab-terrorists-detained-near-somalia-s-capital.
[x] European Council, “EU support to the African Union Mission in Somalia: Council approves further support under the European Peace Facility,” July 6, 2022, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/07/06/eu-support-to-the-african-union-mission-in-somalia-council-approves-further-support-under-the-european-peace-facility/.