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: Oxfam releases proposal to combat “man-made famine” in Yemen; al Houthi-Saleh forces claim to fire ballistic missile at Hadi government forces in Sana’a governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack SNA base in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region; Somali President Farmajo begins official visit to Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

Oxfam International accused the participants in the Yemeni civil war of knowingly creating famine conditions on March 23. The report called on UN Secretary-General António Guterres to oversee a peace settlement with parallel community reconciliation programs and an international economic relief effort to stabilize the Yemeni Central Bank. Oxfam also called on belligerents to open all land, sea, and air routes to food, fuel, and medicine.[1]

Al Houthi-Saleh forces claimed to fire a Zilzal-2 ballistic missile at Hadi government forces in Nihm district, Sana’a governorate, on March 23. This attack is not yet confirmed. Al Houthi-Saleh forces fired a Zilzal-1 ballistic missile at Hadi government-controlled Kofal military base in nearby Ma’rib governorate on March 17, striking a mosque.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

 Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Barawe town in Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on March 22. Al Shabaab claimed to kill 17 SNA soldiers, wound 22 others, and destroy three military vehicles in the attack. SNA Colonel Abdirahman Rooble Jimale said that SNA forces killed seven al Shabaab militants and repulsed the attack. Barawe is a coastal town located 110 miles southwest of Mogadishu. Al Shabaab distributed food aid to local residents in Barawe on March 21. The militant group conducts both humanitarian and insurgent operations in an effort to expand its control zones in southern Somalia.[3]

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo began a three-day official visit to Kenya on March 23. President Farmajo met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at Statehouse Nairobi to discuss refugee issues and bilateral cooperation in the fight against al Shabaab. President Kenyatta has voiced his intention to close Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, which houses hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees. Kenyan armed forces are deployed in Lower and Middle Jubba regions to fight al Shabaab as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Both presidents will attend the Intergovernmental Authority and Development (IGAD) summit in Nairobi on March 25 to discuss peace and security issues with other regional heads of state.[4]

[1] “Yemen pushed towards man-made famine,” Oxfam Media, March 23, 2017,
[2] “Zilzal-2 fired at mercenaries in Nihm,” Sabanews, March 23, 2017,
[3] Live From Mogadishu, Al Shabaab fighters attack Somalia military base in coastal town of Barawe, Twitter, March 22, 2017,; 39 dead and wounded in al Shabaab attack in Barawe, Telegram, March 23, 2017; “al Shabaab and Somali army fighting kills at least 10,” Mareeg, March 23, 2017,; and “Ten killed in al Shabaab attack in Somali port town,” Shabelle News, March 23, 2017,
[4] Stella Cherono, “Uhuru, Somalia President hold talks in Nairobi,” Daily Nation, March 23, 2017,
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