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: Saudi-led coalition spokesman presents remnants of al Houthi ballistic missiles to show Iranian origin; Hadi government Prime Minister states Hadi government will incorporate Ahmed Ali into leadership position in GPC; Supreme Revolutionary Committee president states al Houthi movement prepared to make compensations; Hadi government may submit request to UN Special Envoy to Yemen to suspend Sana’a work; ISIS militants assassinate soldier in Aden

Horn of Africa: Kenyan immigration authorities deny entry of opposition lawyer to Kenya; Somali and Kenyan Presidents agree to halt construction of border wall

Yemen Security Brief

Saudi-led coalition Spokesman Turki al Maliki presented evidence that some of the al Houthi ballistic missiles fired at Saudi Arabia on March 25 are of Iranian origin during a conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 26.   Al Maliki stated the Saudi-led coalition would continue to support political negotiations based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the outcome of the 2011 Gulf Cooperation Council initiative. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Yadollah Javani denied al Maliki’s allegations on March 27.[1]

Prime Minister Ahmed Bin Daghir stated that the Hadi government is planning to incorporate the late former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s son Ahmed Ali Saleh into a leadership position alongside President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in the CORRECTIONA previous version of the Security Review incorrectly reported that Ahmed Bin Daghir announced the Hadi government planned to incorporate Ahmed Ali Saleh into a leadership role in the government. Daghir stated that the Hadi government planned to incorporate Ahmed Ali Saleh into the leadership of the GPC party.General People's Congress (GPC) party in an interview with a Saudi newspaper on March 27. Bin Daghir also called on the the international community to lift sanctions on Ahmed Ali Saleh. Daghir previously hinted that a deal had almost been reached with Ahmed Ali regarding a future leadership role of the GPC party on March 8.[2]

Supreme Revolutionary Committee President Mohammed Ali al Houthi stated on March 26 that the al Houthi movement is prepared to compensate Saudi civilians injured or killed by ballistic missile attacks if an independent committee confirms that shrapnel is from al Houthi missiles and not Saudi air defense missiles. The al Houthi movement launched seven ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia on March 25. One ballistic missile that targeted Riyadh killed an Egyptian civilian and injured two others. One or more of Saudi Arabia’s Patriot PAC-2 missile defense systems may have failed based on online videos that recorded the missiles over Riyadh according to some missile experts.[3]

The Hadi government may submit a request to UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths to suspend his work in Sana’a, according to a government source that spoke with a London-based newspaper on March 26. The source relayed that the Hadi government expected Griffiths to condemn the March 25 al Houthi ballistic missiles attacks on Saudi Arabia. Griffiths met with the al Houthi transportation minister, representatives from a faction of the Southern Movement that is loyal to the al Houthi movement, and representatives from the Joint Meeting Parties in Sana’a on March 26.[4]

Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) militants assassinated one soldier and wounded another near the college of literature in Khormaksar district, Aden city on March 27. Security forces arrested one of the ISIS militants who was wounded during the attack.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Kenyan immigration authorities detained opposition lawyer Miguna Miguna at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) when he returned from his deportation to Canada on March 26. Several plainclothes police officers attempted to force Miguna on a plane bound for Dubai after Miguna refused to apply for a Kenyan visa. Kenyan immigration officials said that Miguna presented an invalid travel document and had to re-apply for Kenyan citizenship because he acquired a Canadian citizenship in 1988. Kenya did not allow dual citizenship until 2010. Kenyan authorities also allegedly assaulted journalists covering Miguna’s arrival. Opposition leader Raila Odinga attempted to secure Miguna’s release at JKIA, but security officers blocked him. Authorities deported Miguna on February 6 for his role in the January 30 symbolic inauguration of Odinga. Kenyan courts demanded the return of Miguna on February 26 and ruled against the Kenyan government’s appeal to stop his return on March 12.[6]

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to halt the ongoing construction of a border wall along the Kenyan-Somali border. The Kenyan government began constructing the border wall in 2015 along the Somali-Kenyan border in response to an al Shabaab attack on Garissa University that killed roughly 150 people. Kenyan officials constructed part of the wall in Beled Hawo city in Gedo region, southern Somalia. Beled Hawo residents protested for weeks against the construction, claiming the wall encroached on Somalia’s territory. Jubbaland President Ahmed Islam Madobe called on Beled Hawo residents to cooperate with Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) to enable talks, denying allegations of Kenyan intentions to encroach on Somalia’s territory. Al Shabaab released a statement on March 27, praising the protests against the KDF and promised to send militants to defend the Somali border from Kenyan incursion.[7] 

[1] “Al Maliki: Support of the Iranian regime to terrorist groups and organizations is a threat to regional and international security and in violation of the principles of international law and UN resolutions, adding a fifth and final,” Saudi Press Agency, March 26, 2018,; and “Iran's Revolutionary Guards deny giving missiles to Houthis: Tasnim news,” Reuters, March 27, 2018,
[2] “Bin Daghir: We will call on the International community to lift sanctions on Ahmed Ali,” Asharq Al Awsat, March 27, 2018,; and “Bin Daghir calls on the international community to lift sanctions on Ahmed Ali,” Al Masdar, March 27, 2018,
[3] Mohammed Ali al Houthi, Twitter, March 26, 2018,; and “President of the Supreme Revolutionary: The Saudi dead are victims of the Patriot, we call on civilians to move away from the targeted places,” Al Masirah, March 26, 2018,
[4] “Griffiths meets al Houthi version of the Southern Movement in Sana’a,” Asharq al Awsat, March 27, 2018,; “Transport Minister meets UN envoy to Yemen,” Saba News, March 26, 2018,; and “Leaders of the Joint Meeting meet UN Envoy to Yemen,” Saba News, March 27, 2018,
[5] “ISIS announces responsibility for attack on College of Literature in Aden, Aden Tomorrow, March 27, 2018,; “ISIS claims killing of a soldier from the College of Literature in Khormaskar district, Aden city,” Telegram, March 27, 2018; and “Terrorist arrested during execution today in Aden,” Aden Time, March 27, 2018,
[6] “Kenyan police detain opposition politician, media columnists resign,” Reuters, March 27, 2018,; “Blow by blow account of Miguna Miguna JKIA,” Standard Media, March 27, 2018,; “Miguna has to apply for Kenyan citizenship, Immigration department says,” The Star, March 27, 2018,; “Kenyan immigration authorities block opposition activist’s entry,” Goobjoog, March 27, 2018,; “Miguna won't sign any forms for Kenyan citizenship - Cliff Ombeta,” The Star, March 27, 2018,; and “Miguna Miguna refuses to fill citizenship forms at JKIA in Nairobi,” Daily Nation, March 27, 2018,
[7] “Kenyatta & Farmaajo Resolve To Halt BeledaHawa-Mandera Border Wall Construction,” Radio Dalsan, March 26, 2018,; “Kenya border wall halted to allow dispute resolution-Somalia,” Goobjoog, March 27, 2018,; “We created Jubaland to secure Kenya’s borders, DPP nominee tells MPs,” The Star, March 27, 2018,; and “We Will Send Our Fighters To Defend Beled Hawo Alshabaab Says On Kenya-Somali Border Dispute,” Radio Dalsan, March 27, 2018,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Apr '18
Mar '18
Feb '18