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 forms committee to oversee transfer of military positions in Aden; Hadi government-aligned forces attack al Houthis in Taiz governorate; al Islah official killed in clashes with al Houthis

Horn of Africa: ISCAP claims attacks on Mozambican and Russian forces in northern Mozambique; the Jubbaland administration calls for the withdrawal of non-AMISOM Ethiopian troops in Somalia; the UN Special Representative for Somalia addresses the Security Council on the situation in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

The Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a southern Yemeni separatist group, formed joint committees to oversee the transfer of STC-controlled military positions in and around Yemen’s de facto capital, Aden. The committees include representatives from President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government and the Saudi-led coalition. The STC and Hadi government signed a power-sharing agreement on November 5 to end a military standoff over Aden.[1]

Hadi government-aligned forces claimed to ambush al Houthi forces east of Taiz city in southwestern Yemen on November 21, killing eight militants and injuring 11 others.[2]

The Islamist al Islah Party announced on November 20 that one of its leaders, Ahmed Hamid al Dharaj, had died in clashes with the al Houthi movement in Nihm district in Sana’a governorate, east of the al Houthi-controlled capital.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Islamic State’s Central Africa Province (ISCAP) claimed to attack Mozambican soldiers and Russian private military contractors in separate attacks in Dimayo and Mengaleuwa villages in Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique on November 17. Militants said they killed six Mozambican soldiers, raided a military barracks, and burned Christians’ property during the attack.[4]

The Jubbaland State administration called on November 21 for the removal of Ethiopian troops not serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) from the country. The Jubbaland administration accused non-AMISOM Ethiopian troops of preventing Mohamud Sayid Adan, the Jubbaland deputy president, from traveling to Beled Hawo town in Gedo region in southwestern Somalia. This follows reports of Ethiopian troops arresting Jubbaland officials in Gedo region in mid-November. Ethiopia and the Somali Federal Government are at odds with the Jubbaland administration over the re-election of Jubbaland president Ahmed Madobe in late August.[5]

The UN Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, James Swan, addressed the UN Security Council on the situation in Somalia on November 21. Swan stressed the importance of political reform and the 2020 Somali elections in providing the stability to address the threat posed by al Shabaab.[6]

Visit our YemenSaudi ArabiaSomalia, and Ethiopia storystreams.

[1] “Yemen’s STC Begins Handling over Military Bases,” Asharq al Awsat, November 21, 2019,

[2] “National Army: 19 militants killed and wounded in an ambush east of Taiz,” 7adramout, November 21, 2019,

[3] “Islah party announces the death of one of its leaders in battles against the Houthis east of Sana’a,” Anadolu Agency, November 21, 2019,

[4] “IS Reports Attacks on ‘Large’ Mozambican Army and Russian Posts in Mozambique in Naba 209 Exclusive,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 21, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

[5] “Somalia: Jubaland Deputy President blocked by Ethiopian troops in Gedo as Madobe demands for withdrawal,” Garowe, November 22, 2019,

[6] “Remarks by UN Envoy James Swan to the Security Council on the Situation in Somalia on 21 November 2019,” UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, November 21, 2019,

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