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: President Hadi returns to Aden city; popular resistance forces advance in Taiz governorate; EU reaffirms support for Yemen peace talks

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks AMISOM forces in Moqokori, Hiraan region; KDF accused of launching airstrikes on civilians in Gedo region; Somali MPs vote for KDF forces to leave Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • Exiled Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi returned to Aden city in southern Yemen on November 17. This visit, President Hadi’s first since September, coincides with a renewed Saudi-led coalition offensive in Taiz governorate in southern Yemen.[1]
  • Coalition-backed popular resistance forces advanced against al Houthi-Saleh militias in Taiz governorate in southern Yemen on November 17. Resistance fighters seized government buildings in al Wazi’iyah and secured the al Shuqayra region near the Taiz-Lahij border. Popular resistance forces also took control of the Taiz University student affairs building in western Taiz city as part of a renewed effort to push the al Houthis out of Taiz.[2]
  • The European Union reaffirmed its support for the UN-led peace talks between pro-al Houthi and pro-Hadi delegates expected to take place this month. The EU called on all parties to participate in the talks and also decried Yemen’s humanitarian crisis.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked Ethiopian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces on November 16 in Moqokori, Hiraan region. The militants used a combination of heavy firearms as well as rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) in the attack. The defending AMISOM forces warded off the militants and forced them to flee the area. Casualty counts remain unknown.[4]
  • A high ranking Gedo region official accused the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) of conducting airstrikes against civilians throughout southwestern Somalia. The official said that KDF forces intentionally launched airstrikes against numerous rural villages in Gedo region in a radio interview on November 17. The official also said that similar incidents have occurred since 2011, when KDF forces began operating in Somalia.[5]
  • Somalia’s parliament voted in favor of a motion demanding that all KDF forces leave the country, with only two members of parliament (MPs) voting against the KDF’s removal. The motion calls for all Kenyan military forces to leave Somalia, including the Kenyan AMISOM component operating in the country’s south. The vote comes amid increased scrutiny of KDF forces following a report accusing Kenyan military officials of participating in al Shabaab’s illegal charcoal and sugar smuggling networks. Accusations that Kenya’s border wall extends into Somali territory are also contributing to the tensions. The motion makes no mention of other troop-contributing countries and calls for the international community to help fill Kenya’s role in AMISOM.[6]
[1] “Yemen conflict: exiled President Hadi returns to Aden,” BBC News, November 17, 2015. Available:
[2] “Freeing Taiz from the control of al Houthi during day battles,” Al Masdar Online, November 17, 2015. Available:
[3] “The European Union calls on rebels and the government into a commitment to participate in the Geneva negotiations,” Al Masdar Online, November 17, 2015. Available:
[4] “AMISOM’s Ethiopian forces repulse Al-Shabaab in late night Moqokori attack,” Wacaal Media, November 17, 2015. Available:
[5] “Gedo officials accuse Kenya of carrying out airstrikes against civilian targets,” Shabelle News, November 17, 2015. Available:
[6] “Somalia: MPs vote for Kenyan Forces to leave,” Horseed Media, November 16, 2015. Available:
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