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: Southern Movement states intent to erect checkpoints along north-south border; roadside IEDs target al Qayfa tribal leader in al Bayda; Minister of Defense announces integration of al Houthis into military

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants hijack bus and execute civilians in Kenya’s North Eastern; Kenyan defense forces kill dozens of al Shabaab militants in response to al Shabaab attack; Somali Parliament compromises second attempt at vote of no confidence in the Somali prime minister

Yemen Security Brief

  • Factions of Yemen’s Southern Movement stated on November 24 that they will erect checkpoints along the pre-1990 borders between north and south Yemen after the November 30 deadline on which southerners have demanded all northern government employees and armed forces leave the South.  A Southern Movement leader Faoud Rashid also stated that talks are underway among southern leaders to unify the various factions of the Southern Movement.[1]
  • An unidentified airstrike targeted the vehicle of an unnamed tribal sheikh in Rada’a, al Bayda, 150 km southeast of Sana’a. No casualties resulted from the strike. Separately, unknown militants planted two roadside improvised explosive devices (IED) targeting the car of an al Qayfa tribal leader, also in Rada’a, al Bayda. The tribal leader, who is engaged in fighting al Houthi militants in al Bayda, survived the assassination attempt. [2]
  • Yemen’s Minster of Defense Mahmoud al Subaihi announced on November 23 that plans are underway to integrate al Houthi fighters into Yemen’s security and armed forces. The plan is part of an agreement with the al Houthi movement to create a balance among the groups represented in Yemen’s military.[3] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants hijacked a bus and executed 28 civilians onboard in Mandera in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on November 22. Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mahmoud Rage released a statement on November 22 claiming the group’s responsibility for the attack and announcing that the killings were in retaliation for the November 17-19 mosque raids by Kenyan security forces.[4]
  • Kenyan defense forces conducted operations in Somalia, reportedly killing 100 al Shabaab militants on November 23 in response to the November 22 al Shabaab bus attack. Security officials didn’t disclose the location of the operations, but stated that two successful operations destroyed al Shabaab camps. Al Shabaab spokesman Abdi Aziz Abu Musab denied the validity of the alleged causality count.[5]
  • The Somali Federal Parliament attempted to hold a session to vote on confidence in the Somali Prime Minister on November 24, however dissenting members of parliament shredded official documents and loudly disrupted the agenda. Disruptions by members of Parliament suspended a previous confidence vote on November 11.[6]  

[1] “Yemen’s separatist movement to form own government,” al Bawaba, November 24, 2014. Available:
“We will close the border with the north and demand secession for the south,” Barakish, November 24, 2011 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Tribal sheikh survives American drone strike targeting his car in al Bayda, central Yemen,” Yemen Press, November 24, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Assassination of tribal leader by roadside bomb planted by unknown assailants near his car in al Bayda,” al Masdar, November 24, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Yemeni Minister of Defense: plan to accommodate our al Houthi partners in army and security forces,” Barakish, November 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Withdrawl of Houthis from Sana’a depends on how quickly al Houthis integrated into military,” al Khabr Now, November 24, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] Tom Odula, “Somalia’s al-Shabab kills 28 non-Muslims in Kenya,” Washington Post, November 22, 2014. Available:
George Obulutsa, “Somali Islamists execute 28 non-Muslims on Kenyan bus,” Reuters, November 22, 2014. Available:
“Shabaab Claims MAndera Bus Attack as Response to Kenyan Acts Against Muslims in Mombasa,” SITE Intel. Group, November 22, 2014. Available at SITE.
[5] “Kenya claims 100 al-Shabaab killed in response to Mandera massacre,” the guardian, November 23, 2014. Available:
Hamza Mohamed, “Al-Shabab denies Kenya reprisal over bus raid,” Al-Jazeera, November 24, 2014. Available:
[6] “Breaking News: Somalia’s Parliament session ends in chaos,” Goobjoog, November 24, 2014. Available:
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