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: Emirati-backed southern government president affirms independence objective; U.S. Ambassador to Yemen says Yemeni actors benefiting from conflict

Horn of Africa: Kenyan police raid an opposition leader’s home in Kakamega, Kenya; Kenyan Supreme Court prepares to hear election postponement case; al Shabaab militants attack SNA forces in Lower Shabelle, southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

Transitional Political Council of the South (STC) President Aydarus al Zubaydi stated the goal of the STC is the complete liberation of the south and the establishment of a federal civil state during a speech to inaugurate the STC’s local leadership and headquarters in Ataq city, Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen on October 24. He also reiterated the STC’s refusal to integrate military forces with the internationally recognized Hadi government. Al Zubaydi officially inaugurated the STC’s National Assembly and its local leadership in Aden on October 23. The Hadi government has been unable to hold a session of parliament since 2015.[1] 

U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Tueller stated that some parties of the civil war are personally benefiting from the conflict, in an interview to a London-based Arabic newspaper on October 21. He also stated that the al Houthi-Saleh bloc is willing to negotiate and emphasized that Yemenis must cease hostilities, deliver humanitarian aid, and commence a transitional political phase. Tueller and U.S. Department of State Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield met with Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to discuss the Yemeni peace process on October 21.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Kenyan police raided former opposition senator Boni Khalwale’s home for evidence of opposition party plans to interfere with the re-run election in Malinya, Kakamega county, southwestern Kenya. Kenya’s chief prosecutor charged two inner-circle opposition leaders with inciting violence and obstructing the re-run election on October 23. Opposition leader Raila Odinga dismissed Deputy President William Ruto’s claims that he called for protests at polling stations on election day on October 26. President Uhuru Kenyatta discussed poll preparations with the Kenyan electoral commission chairman on October 23 to ensure the election is credible.[3]  

The Kenyan Supreme Court announced it will hear a case by three Kenyan human rights lawyers to postpone the re-run election on October 25. The court petition states the vote cannot occur due to an opposition party boycott, security threats, and the electoral commission’s concerns over the election’s credibility. The Kenyan government declared October 25 and 26 as public holidays in preparation for the re-run election.[4] 

Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali National Army (SNA) troops with small arms in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle, southern Somalia on October 24, according to an al Shabaab-affiliated social media account. Al Shabaab has attacked SNA troops in Afgoi three times in the last week. Al Shabaab operates in the rural area surrounding Afgoi to launch attacks in Mogadishu, 30 km south of Afgoi.[5]

[1] “Speech of the President of the Southern Transitional Council during the inauguration of the National Assembly and the local leadership of the Council in Ataq, capital of Shabwah province,” Southern Transitional Council, October 24, 2017,; “The Southern Transitional Council inaugurates the National Assembly and the local leadership in the capital of Aden,” Southern Transitional Council, October 23, 2017,; and “President of the Southern Transitional Council opens the headquarters of the Council in Shabwah and visits the Martyr’s Hall,” Southern Transitional Council, October 24, 2017,
[2] “Three-Pronged U.S. Proposal for Solutions in Yemen,” Asharq al Awsat, October 23, 2017,; “President receives U.S. Assistant Secretary of State,” Saba New, October 21, 2017,; and “Vice President meets Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Ambassador to Yemen,” Saba New, October 22, 2017,
[3] Benson Amadala, “Police raid Boni Khalwale’s Ikolomani home,” Daily Nation, October 24, 2017,; and Patrick Lang'at, “Raila Odinga denies calling demos on election day,” Daily Nation, October 24, 2017,
[4] Sam Kiplagat, “David Maraga certifies as urgent case to stop Kenya election,” Daily Nation, October 24, 2017,; and Nancy Agutu, “Wednesday declared public holiday for election preparations,” The Star, October 24, 2017,
[5] “Al Shabaab attacks SNA troops in Afgoi,” Telegram, October 24, 2017.

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