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: GPC members boycott al Houthi Supreme Political Council; Hadi government ministers return to Yemen; UN establishes checkpoints in al Hudaydah

Horn of Africa: SNA commander dies in friendly fire incident; AFRICOM bolsters security at Baledogle airbase; suspected al Shabaab militants assassinate elder in Kismayo; SNA launches operation in Hiraan region; Islamic State claims attack in northern Mozambique

Yemen Security Brief

Members of the General People’s Congress (GPC) associated with the al Houthi movement announced on October 20 that they would boycott the al Houthi movement’s Supreme Political Council. The GPC members announced their boycott in response to the release of militants suspected of attempting to assassinate former President Ali Abdallah Saleh in 2011. Some members of the GPC, a party founded by President Saleh, are affiliated with the al Houthi movement.[1] 

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s Interior Minister, Ahmed al Maysiri, and Transport Minister Saleh al Jabwani returned to Yemen from Saudi Arabia on October 19. The two ministers landed in Sayun in Hadramawt governorate in eastern Yemen. The ministers left Yemen’s de facto capital, Aden, in August after forces aligned with the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a secessionist group, seized the city from Hadi government-aligned forces.[2]

The UN installed checkpoints between al Houthi forces and Hadi government-aligned forces in al Hudaydah port city in western Yemen on August 19. UN observers are in al Hudaydah to monitor a ceasefire as part of the 2018 UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

The commander of a Turkish-trained commando unit in the Somali National Army (SNA), Major Mohamed Suleiman Aboukar, died from friendly fire near the presidential compound in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on October 18. Somali security forces mistook Aboukar and his bodyguard for al Shabaab militants. Security forces have detained police officers who were operating in the area for questioning.[4]

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) is bolstering security at its Baledogle airbase in Lower Shabelle region following an al Shabaab attack on the base on September 30, according to Somali media. AFRICOM’s priority is improving telecommunications between the base and Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.[5]

Suspected al Shabaab militants assassinated a prominent elder in Kismayo port city, the capital of Jubbaland State in southern Somalia, on October 20.[6]

SNA troops killed over 20 al Shabaab militants during an operation between Jalalaqsi and Bulo Burde towns in Hiraan region in central Somalia on October 19.[7]

The Islamic State’s Central Africa Province claimed to attack Russian and Mozambican security forces in Mbau in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province on October 13.[8]

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[1] “Divisions in al Houthi factions over the release of suspected terrorists targeting Saleh,” al Arabiya, October 20, 2019,انشقاق-في-صفوف-الحوثي-حزب-المؤتمر-يقاطع-المجلس-السيادي.html#.

[2] “Two months after their forced exit from Aden .. Ministers of the Hadi government return to Yemen,” Al Jazeera, October 19, 2019,

[3] “A new attempt to implement the agreement Sweden .. The United Nations set up control points in Hodeidah Yemen,” Al Jazeera, October 20, 2019,

[4] Tuuryare, Abdirisak, “Somali Army Major Killed In Skirmish In Mogadishu,” Mareeg, October 19, 2019,; “Police officers suspected of killing army commandant arrested in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog, October 19, 2019,

[5] “U.S reinforces security at Baledogle after Shabaab attack,” Hiiraan, October 19, 2019,

[6] “Prominent Kismayo elder gunned down in a spate of killings targeting elders,” Hiiraan, October 21, 2019,

[7] Dhaysane, Mohammed, “Over 20 al-Shabaab militants killed in central Somalia,” Anadolu Agency, October 19, 2019,

[8] “IS Reports Confrontation with Russian Forces in Mozambique in Baba 204 ‘Exclusive’,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 21, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

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