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: Human rights groups call for Saudi Arabia’s removal from the UN Human Rights Council; Iranian Supreme Leader denounces Saudi Arabia’s human rights record in Yemen; Yemeni Foreign Minister announces relocation of ceasefire monitoring committee to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; government forces continue to clash with al Houthi-Saleh forces in Nihm, eastern Sana’a; citizens in Aden protest electricity outages

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants detonate remote-controlled IED on passenger bus near Mogadishu; al Shabaab attacks KDF base near Milimani, Lamu County, Kenya; al Shabaab attacks SNA base near Al-Eli, Hiraan region; suspected al Shabaab militants detonate IED targeting SNA in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International jointly called for Saudi Arabia’s removal from the UN Human Rights Council. They cited civilian casualties caused by the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrike campaign and the coalition’s use of cluster munitions. The Saudi ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, Faisal Trad, rejected the accusations and stated that Saudi Arabia respects international law and is currently reviewing the controversial airstrikes.[1]
  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei castigated Saudi Arabia for its human rights record in Yemen and denounced the UN for “turning a blind eye to the ongoing crimes and child killing in Yemen in exchange for money from some countries.” Iran and its proxies provide limited aid for the al Houthis against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.[2]
  • Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al Mikhlafi announced that the Joint De-escalation and Coordination Committee, a neutral ceasefire-monitoring committee with representation from both delegations, will move its headquarters from Kuwait to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Al Mikhlafi also denounced the al Houthis as obstructionist in the same comment.[3]
  • Government forces continued to clash with al Houthi-Saleh forces on June 27 in and around Nihm, eastern Sana’a, killing at least 14 al Houthi-Saleh fighters. At least two government fighters were injured. Government and popular resistance forces are attempting to advance into Nihm as part of a larger government push into Sana’a’s environs. Large numbers of civilians continue to flee their homes in Nihm and are travelling towards Sana’a for safety, according to reports by security officials on June 28.[4]
  • Demonstrators protested electricity outages and perceived government inaction on June 30 in Aden. President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi approved a $47m loan from the Emirati government on June 12 to purchase spare parts and other materials to restore electricity to Aden and the surrounding areas for six months. Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid Bin Daghir met with the ministers of oil and electricity on June 19 to discuss restoring supply of electricity and fuel shortages in Aden.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated a remote-controlled improvised explosive device on a bus traveling from Mogadishu to Afgooye on June 30. The blast destroyed the bus and killed at least 20 civilians. Al Shabaab has not claimed responsibility for the attack.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) base near Milimani in Lamu County, Kenya on June 30. Al Shabaab claims to have killed six KDF fighters in the assault. The KDF claimed four al Shabaab casualties. The KDF responded to the assault with airstrikes targeting al Shabaab militants near Beled Hawo town in Gedo region, Somalia.[7]
  • Al Shabaab forces attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base near El Ali in Hiraan region on June 29. Al Shabaab fighters initiated the attack with artillery and mortar fire. Militants then exchanged small arms fire with SNA soldiers. SNA spokesmen claim to have killed ten al Shabaab fighters. Sources reported heavy casualties on both sides.[8]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting SNA troops in Mogadishu on June 29. The militants killed at least one SNA fighter and wounded three others.[9]

[1] “2 Groups Call to Oust Saudis from U.N. Human Rights Council,” New York Times, June 30, 2016,; and “Saudis reject rights groups’ ‘accusations’ over Yemen policy,” Associated Press, June 30, 2016,
[2] “Iran’s Leader slams UN over Saudis' child killing in Yemen,” Pars Today, June 30, 2016, source available upon request; and Katherine Zimmerman, “Signaling Saudi Arabia: Iranian Support to Yemen’s al Houthis,” Critical Threats, April 15, 2016,
[3] “The Joint Deescalation and coordination committee take their business to Saudi Arabia and Mikhlafi says he is “determined to end the coup,” al Masdar, June 30, 2016,
[4] "The deaths of 14 al Houthi-Saleh militants in clashes with the national army east of the capital," Al Masdar, June 28, 2016,; "Developments in Nihm...field report," Barakish, June 29, 2016,; and "Yemen..mass exodus of the population of the villages in Nihm District," Sky News Arabia, June 27, 2016,
[5] “Protests in Aden,” Barakish, June 30, 2016,; "Emirati loan of $47 million to resolve the problem of electricity of Aden," Barakish, June 13, 2016,; and "Ben Daghir meets with ministers of oil and electricity," Barakish, June 19, 2016
[6] “Roadside blast kills at least 18 people outside Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, June 30, 2016,; and “Blast on minibus Kills 20 near Mogadishu - Pictures,” Shabelle News, June 30, 2016,
[7] “Al Shabaab says it killed 6 KDF soldiers in base attack,” Shabelle News, June 30, 2016,; and “Kenyan air force jets carry out airstrikes in Somalia,” Shabelle News, June 30, 2016,
[8] “Administration of El-Ali locality Claims Victory in Battle With Al Shabaab in Hiiraan,” Goobjoog News, June 29, 2016,; and “SNA troops clash with militants in central Somalia,” Shabelle News, June 29, 2016,
[9] “Landmine explosion kills a government soldier in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, June 29, 2016,
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