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: STC President Zubaidi travels to Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate; unspecified Hadrami leaders met to demand an independent Hadrami delegation for negotiations with Houthis; Yemeni Interior Ministry seizes communications equipment bound for the Houthis in Mahra

Somalia: Al Shabaab targets joint African Union-SNA convoy in southern Somalia; Somali intelligence seizes al Shabaab weapon and explosive shipment at Mogadishu Seaport

Yemen Security Brief

Southern Transitional Council President Aydarus al Zubaidi arrived in Mukalla, Hardamawt governorate, southeastern Yemen, on May 18 for the STC National Assembly meeting in Mukalla on May 21.[i] Zubaidi arrived in a large convoy of military vehicles.[ii] Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) Deputy and STC Vice President Faraj al Bahsani received Zubaidi.[iii]

Unspecified “prominent Hadrami political and tribal” leaders met in Seiyun, Hadramawt governorate on May 18 to reject “any attempts at annexation.”[iv] The leaders agreed to meet Yemeni President Rashad al Alimi to demand an independent Hadrami delegation be involved in negotiations with the Houthis to end the war in Yemen.

The Yemeni Interior Ministry seized a shipment of modern communication equipment bound for the Houthis in Mahra governorate, eastern Yemen, on May 18.[v]

Somalia Security Brief

Al Shabaab detonated multiple roadside improvised explosive devices targeting a joint African Union–Somali National Army convoy near El Waregow, Marka district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on May 18.[vi] Al Shabaab claimed the attacks killed five Ugandan soldiers and 22 Somali soldiers.[vii]

Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) forces seized an al Shabaab weapon and explosives shipment and transport vehicles at Mogadishu Seaport on May 18.[viii] NISA arrested ten suspected logistical facilitators during the raid, which included some businessmen in Mogadishu.[ix]

[i] SMA News, “President al Zubaidi arrives in the city of Mukalla,” May 18, 2023,

[ii] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “Aydarus al Zubaidi entered the city of Mukalla with a huge army and a bulletproof vest, re-circulating how Ali Abdullah Saleh entered the city itself, ‘Watch the Difference’,” May 19, 2023,

[iii] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “al Bahsani receives Aydarus al Zubaidi in al Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt,” May 18, 2023,

[iv] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “Coinciding with the arrival of al Zubaidi.. Hadrami components declare the governorate an independent state under one condition,” May 18, 2023,

[v] Al mashhad al Yemeni, “Seizing modern communication devices at a Yemeni border port that was on its way to the militia,” May 18, 2023,

[vi] Harun Maruf, @HarunMaruf, Twitter, May 18, 2023,

[vii] SITE Intelligence Group, “Shabaab Claims 27 Killed in Multiple Blasts on Joint Somali-Ugandan Military Convoy in Lower Shabelle,” May 18, 2023, available by subscription at

[viii] SNTV News, @sntvnews1, Twitter, May 18, 2023,

[ix] Shabelle Media Network, @ShabelleMedia, Twitter, May 18, 2023,

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