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: Suspected AQAP militants attack Yemeni security forces in Abyan and Hadramawt; suspected Emirati-backed forces attack Hadi government-aligned forces in Shabwah; WFP partially suspends aid to al Houthi-controlled areas

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detonates IED targeting AMISOM troops in Baidoa; Arab Parliament sides with Somalia in maritime row with Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Yemeni soldiers aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in al Qatan city in Hadramawt governorate in eastern Yemen on June 21. The attack killed seven soldiers. Suspected AQAP militants separately detonated an IED targeting Emirati-backed al Hizam Security Forces in al Mahfad district in Abyan governorate in southern Yemen on June 21. The attack killed one al Hizam soldier and injured multiple others.[1]

Suspected Emirati-backed Shabwani Elite Forces shot at the commander of the Hadi government-aligned 21st Brigade in Usaylan district in Shabwah governorate on June 21. Shabwani Elite and 21st Brigade forces previously clashed in the capital of Shabwah, Ataq, between June 19 and June 21.[2]

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) partially suspended food assistance to al Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen on June 21. The WFP had previously warned of a suspension if the al Houthi movement failed to stop interfering in the WFP’s work and prevent corrupt officials from diverting food assistance.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants detonated an IED targeting Ethiopian soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Baidoa town, the capital of South West State in southern Somalia, on June 21. Al Shabaab claimed to kill five soldiers in the attack.[4]

The Arab League’s Arab Parliament urged Kenya to stop interfering in Somalia’s territorial waters on June 20, according to a statement from the Somali Federal Government’s (SFG’s) Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Arab Parliament stated that Kenya’s claim to disputed territorial waters is “unfounded and not in touch with reality.” Kenya and the SFG are engaged in a diplomatic dispute over a maritime boundary.[5]

[1] “Terrorist attack targeting a military kit in Hadramout, killing and wounding 7 soldiers,” Yemen Akhbar, June 21, 2019,; “Continue to chaos in the areas of Wadi Hadramout .. Five soldiers were killed by an explosive device targeting their military vehicle,” Hadramout, June 21, 2019,; “A soldier was killed in an explosive device explosion in Abyan,” Hadramout, June 21, 2019,; and “Killed and wounded soldiers in an attack on a patrol in southern Yemen,” June 21, 2019,

[2] “A failed assassination attempt on a military commander led battles against the rebellion of the ‘southern transitional’ militia in Shabwa,” June 21, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 20, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 20, 2019,

[3] “Yemen crisis: UN partially suspends food aid,” BBC, June 21, 2019,

[4] “Deadly blast hits AU vehicle in Somalia,” Mareeg, June 21, 2019,

[5] Patrick Vidija, “Kenya-Somalia territory war: Arab Parliament ‘warns’ Kenya,” June 20, 2019,; Harun Maruf, Twitter, June 20, 2019,; and “Somalia protests after its officials deported,” Reuters, May 22, 2019,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Jul '19
Jun '19
May '19