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: Islamic State in Yemen claims third attack on AQAP in a week

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militant defects ahead of attacks in northeastern Kenya; Kenyan President urges religious unity in combatting terrorism; 800 Somaliland soldiers defect to Puntland

Yemen Security Brief

The Islamic State in Yemen claimed to attack al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in al Humaydah district in al Bayda governorate in central Yemen on May 28. The attack injured several AQAP members. This is the Islamic State in Yemen’s third claimed attack against AQAP in a week.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

A Kenyan al Shabaab militant defected to Kenyan security forces in the Kenya-Somalia border village of Bura Hache on May 30. The militant was part of an al Shabaab unit that was preparing to conduct attacks in Mandera and Wajir counties in northeastern Kenya.[2]

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta visited one of Kenya’s largest mosques to urge religious unity in combatting terrorism on May 30. Kenyatta delivered his remarks after a prayer and Ramadan iftar at the Jumia mosque in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. Kenyatta referred to al Shabaab as criminals during the speech.[3]

Eight hundred soldiers from the self-declared Republic of Somaliland defected to authorities in the semi-autonomous Puntland state in northern Somalia on May 30. Somaliland military commander Hayle Haji defected along with his men after refusing an order to attack Qardho town in Puntland. Somaliland and Puntland security forces are engaged in a border conflict in the Sool and Sanaag regions of northern Somalia.[4]

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[1] Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, May 31, 2019,

[2] “Kenyan Al-Shabaab fighter surrenders days before staging attacks,” Hiiraan, May 31, 2019,

[3] “Muslims, Christians must help fight terrorists: Kenya president,” Africa News, May 31, 2019,

[4] “800 Somaliland soldiers defected to Puntland state,” Mareeg, May 30, 2019,

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