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: Emirati officials issue ultimatum on al Houthi withdraw from al Hudaydah; Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi discusses al Hudaydah with Emirati and Saudi officials; ISIS Wilayat al Bayda repels al Houthi forces in northwestern al Bayda governorate; Saudi-led coalition airstrike hits Medecins Sans Frontieres treatment facility

Horn of Africa: Kenya scales up security in North-Eastern and Coast states for end of Ramadan; leaders of Ethiopia and Egypt claim progress in talks over Nile dam; Ethiopia-Eritrea agreement stalls after Ethiopia’s promise to implement accords

Yemen Security Brief

Emirati officials threatened to assault al Hudaydah port if al Houthi forces did not withdraw from the port by June 12.  Emirati-backed forces deployed to al Durayhymi district, just south of al Hudaydah port city, on June 12. The UAE also deployed armored vehicles and tanks to reinforce troops in al Durayhmi on June 11, according to local military sources.[1]

Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi discussed al Hudaydah port with UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Saudi Arabia on June 11. Hadi then traveled to the UAE on to continue discussions with Saudi and Emirati officials June 12.[2]

Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat al Bayda claimed its militants repelled an al Houthi attack in Za’j area of Qayfah, northwestern al Bayda governorate, central Yemen on June 10. ISIS Wilayat al Bayda last claimed an attack on May 7[3]

A Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) cholera treatment center in the Abs city, Abs district, Hajjah governorate, northern Yemen. The airstrike destroyed the treatment facility but was empty at the time of the strike. MSF stated the building  was clearly marked as a medical facility.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Units from the Kenya Defence Forces and national police have deployed around the country and specifically near the Somali border near Lamu due to concerns that al Shabaab may conduct an attack to mark the end of Ramadan. Suspected Al Shabaab fighters have recently been spotted in the Boni forest in Lamu County.[5]

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated that Ethiopia will not reduce Egypt’s share of the Nile waters. Tension over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam, have increased regional tensions in recent months. Egypt is historically opposed to any altering of the Nile’s waters. Ethiopia and Sudan support the project. Ahmed swore never to harm Egypt’s share of the Nile at a joint news conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi in Cairo on June 10. The talks come after months of negotiations that saw little progress.[6]

Ethiopian forces have not yet withdrawn from the disputed border town of Badme. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on June 5 that Ethiopia would withdraw in accordance with a 2002 Hague ruling that granted the town to Eritrea. Eritrea has yet to make any statement regarding Ethiopia’s pledged withdrawal. Eritrea and Ethiopia fought a war from 1998 to 2000, and the border has remained heavily militarized.[7]

[1] Mohamed Mokhashef and Mohammed Ghobari, “Saudi-led alliance gears up for battle in key Yemeni port city,” Reuters, June 12, 2018,; and Reuters Staff, “UAE says Yemen's Houthis must evacuate key port city,” Reuters, June 12, 2018,
[2]  Islam Seif, “Yemeni president to meet UAE officials as Hodeidah offensive looms,” The National, June 12, 2018,
[3] Dr. Elisabeth Kendal,  Twitter, June 12, 2018,
[4] “Airstrike Reportedly Hits Doctors Without Borders Facility In Yemen,” NPR, June 12, 2018,
[5] “Security Scaled Up In Parts Of North Eastern And Coastal Regions As Ramadhan Period Draws To A Close,” Intelligence Briefs, June 12, 2018.
[6] “Ethiopia: Govt Offers Reassurances to Egypt Over Nile Waters,” AllAfrica, June 12, 2018,
[7] “On Ethiopia-Eritrea Frontline, anger at Addis’ Olive Branch,” Reuters, June 11, 2018,
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