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: Sana’a-based GPC members rejoin al Houthi movement; two Hadi government ministers criticize STC-Hadi government agreement; Iranian Foreign Minister meets al Houthi spokesman in Tehran

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM launches airstrike targeting Islamic State militants in Puntland; al Shabaab detonates IED in Mogadishu; Kenyan police arrest al Shabaab militants near Somali border; Kenyan police find ammunition potentially linked to al Shabaab plot in Mombasa

Yemen Security Brief

Members of the General People’s Congress (GPC) based in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, rejoined the al Houthi movement in recent days after suspending cooperation with the al Houthis on October 20. The GPC members had announced their suspension in response to the al Houthi movement’s release of five suspects linked to a 2011 assassination attempt against late President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Al Houthi officials threatened GPC officials, forcing them to rejoin the group, according to anti-al Houthi media. The al Houthi movement feared that the institutions it controls in Sana’a would cease to function without GPC support.[1]

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s Transport Minister, Saleh al Jabwani, and Interior Minister, Ahmed al Maysiri, called on President Hadi to reject an agreement with the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a southern Yemeni secessionist group, on October 27. Saudi Arabia recently brokered an agreement between the STC and Hadi government, which the parties signed in Riyadh on October 25. Jabwani and Maysiri declared that Saudi Arabia and the UAE should not have influence over Yemen and that the STC should not be rewarded for rebelling against the Hadi government. The two ministers separately survived an assassination attempt in Ataq, the capital of Shabwah governorate in southern Yemen a day after their statements. Security forces arrested two men attempting to plant an explosive device targeting the ministers on October 28.[2]

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif met with al Houthi movement spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam in Tehran on October 26. The officials discussed the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and efforts to end the conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and the al Houthi movement.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting Islamic State in Somalia militants near Iskushuban district in Somalia’s northern Puntland region on October 25. AFRICOM claimed that the airstrike in the remote Golis Mountains killed three terrorists. Local villagers reported that three civilians who were collecting frankincense in the area are missing following the airstrike.[4]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) near a busy junction in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on October 28. The explosion killed two civilians and wounded to others. Al Shabaab separately detonated an IED targeting a Somali National Army (SNA) vehicle on the outskirts of Mogadishu on the road to Afgoi town in Lower Shabelle region on October 27. The explosion killed three civilians.[5]

Kenyan police arrested two suspected al Shabaab militants near Liboi, located near the Somali border in Kenya’s eastern Garissa County, on October 26. Police seized three assault rifles and a pistol from the militants.[6]

Kenyan police found a live round of ammunition in Senti Kumi area of Likoni in Mombasa port city on October 26. Police located the ammunition 500 meters across the Likoni channel from the venue of Kenyan national day celebrations that were held on October 20. Kenyan police suspect the ammunition is linked to an al Shabaab plot against the celebrations that police foiled earlier in October.[7]

Visit our YemenSaudi Arabia, and Somalia storystreams.

[1] “GPC Officials Rejoin Houthi Institutions after Receiving Threats,” Asharq al Awsat, October 28, 2019,

[2] “After revealing the details of the Riyadh agreement… Two Yemeni ministers reject it and vow to defeat the UAE,” October 27, 2019,; “Two Yemeni ministers survive bomb attack in Shabwah,” AA, October 28, 2019, “

[3] “Zarif meets Yemeni Houthi official in Iran’s Tehran,” MENA FN, October 27, 2019,

[4] “U.S. airstrike targets ISIS-Somalia in support of the Federal Government of Somalia,” US Africa Command, October 25, 2019,; and “Three civilians ‘missing’ after U.S. airstrike in Somalia’s Puntland,” Garowe, October 25, 2019,

[5] Tuuryare, Abdirisak, “Somalia: Bomb Blast Kills 2 People In Mogadishu,” Mareeg, October 28, 2019,; Tuuryare, Abdirisak, “Deadly Blast Kills 3 Men On Bike In Somalia,” Mareeg, October 27, 2019,

[6] “Two terror suspects seized in Garissa, four weapons recovered,” Hiiraan, October 26, 2019,

[7] “Sniper bullet near Uhuru podium puzzles officers,” Daily Nation, October 26, 2019,


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