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: Hadi government-aligned forces attack al Houthi forces east of Sana’a; al Islahi militia arrests son of STC official in Shabwah; AQAP claims two attacks on Islamic State positions in al Bayda

 Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab raids police station in eastern Kenya; al Shabaab detonates IED in Mogadishu; Somali tribunal sentences former mayor and police officer for role in al Shabaab attack; US to mediate Nile dam dispute

 Yemen Security Brief

Forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government clashed with al Houthi forces east of the al Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on October 29. Hadi government-aligned forces claimed to ambush a group of al Houthi soldiers in a valley in Nahham district.[1]

A militia aligned with the Islamist al Islah party arrested the son of the head of the Transitional Political Council for the South’s (STC’s) branch in Shabwah governorate in southern Yemen on October 29, according to anti-al Islahi media. The militia arrested Hammam Ali Mohsen al Sulaimani while he was traveling to Shabwah’s capital, Ataq.[2]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed a sniper attack and a mortar attack on Islamic State in Yemen positions in al Bayda governorate in central Yemen on October 29. AQAP also accused Islamic State militants of deliberately killing a Muslim civilian in a bombing.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab raided a police station in Dadajabula, located near the Somali border in Kenya’s Wajir County, on October 29. The attackers attempted to free two militants who were detained at the station. The attack killed both of the detained militants and injured three Kenyan security officers as well as a civilian.[4]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Wardhigley district in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on October 29. The explosion failed to injure anyone.[5]

A Somali military tribunal sentenced a former police officer and the former Mayor of Mahas town in Somalia’s central Hiraan region to death and life in prison, respectively, on October 29 for their role in the assassination of Mahas town’s Deputy Mayor, Rashid Osman. Al Shabaab detonated an IED that killed Osman on April 19, 2019 using information provided by Officer Nur Ibrahim and Mayor Elmi Awale.[6]

The United States has offered to mediate a dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt over a Nile dam project. The US invited officials from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to a meeting in Washington DC set for November 6 to restart discussions over Ethiopia’s construction of a Nile dam. Egypt and Ethiopia disagree over the time frame of filling the dam and the size of its annual water release. Egypt fears the dam will threaten its water supply while Ethiopia sees it as a necessary source of cheap power in the region.[7]

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[1] “Houthi militiamen killed and wounded in an ambush in Sanaa,” Arab Yemen, October 30, 2019,

[2] “Islah militia arrests son of transitional president in Shabwah,” Yemen News, October 30, 2019,

[3] “AQAP CLAIMS ATTACK ON 2 IS POSITIONS, ACCUSES GROUP OF DELIBERATELY BOMBING INNOCENT MUSLIM,” SITE, October 29, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

[4] “Al Shabaab militants raid police station in Kenya, raising terror threat,” Garowe, October 30, 2019,; and Otsialo, Manase, “Al-Shabaab attacks Wajir police station to free terrorists,” Daily Nation, October 30, 2019,

[5] Harun Maruf, Twitter, October 29, 2019,

[6] Harun Maruf, Twitter, October 29, 2019,; Harun Maruf, Twitter, October 30, 2019,; and Maruf, Harun, “Somalia Assesses Al-Shabab Moles' Infiltration of Government,” Voice of America, August 15, 2019,

[7] “Egypt Says Washington to Host Nov. 6 Meeting on Ethiopia Dam Dispute,” Voice of America, October 29, 2019,

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