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: Former Vice President accuses Hadi government of stealing oil revenue from Hadramawt governorate, eastern Yemen; Emirati-backed forces interdict human trafficker in Abyan governorate, southern Yemen; AQAP detonates IED in Abyan governorate; reported Saudi-led coalition airstrikes kills six civilians in Sa’ada governorate, northern Yemen

Horn of Africa: Somali Southwest state parliament files motion to impeach Southwest president; Kenyan police prepare to contain opposition protests; Somali forces raid al Shabaab stronghold in Gedo region, southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

Former Yemeni Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah accused the Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi government of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil revenue from Hadramawt governorate on October 3. Bahah also insinuated that the Transitional Political Council of the South may accelerate the formation of its military wing in response to Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghir’s plan to consolidate militias into a centralized military force on September 30. The Emirati-backed Transitional Political Council of the South is a governing entity that aims to represent southern Yemeni interests. The Hadi government denounced Bahah’s remarks on October 4.[1]

Emirati-backed al Hizam security forces interdicted a truck smuggling 60 Ethiopian migrants near  Shaqrah city, southern Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on October 4. The Bab al Mandab Strait is a popular migration route for human traffickers despite the Yemeni conflict.[2] 

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting al Hizam security forces in Mudiyah district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on October 5. AQAP frames its attacks on Emirati-backed security forces as in reprisal for security forces abusing the local population.[3]

Reported Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed six civilians in Baqim district, Sa’ada governorate, northern Yemen on October 5. Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed 14 civilians in Baqim district on October 4. Sa’ada governorate is the historic stronghold of the al Houthi movement.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Somali Southwest state members of parliament (MPs) signed a motion on October 5 to commence impeachment proceedings against Southwest President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden for unilaterally cutting ties with Qatar on September 18. Southwest’s parliament voted against cutting ties with Qatar on September 25. The Somali Federal Government condemned Southwest President Aden and has maintained neutrality because it relies on aid from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.[5]  

The Kenyan government will station police forces in cities throughout Kenya to contain opposition party protests planned for October 6. The presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his opposition party announced two weekly demonstrations against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the majority party’s election law change proposals throughout Kenya on September 28. School officials closed the University of Nairobi indefinitely in response to mass student protests that occurred during opposition protests on October 2.[6] 

Somali National Army (SNA) forces raided an al Shabaab stronghold 35 kilometers outside Burdubo town, Gedo region, southern Somalia on October 2. Al Shabaab raided SNA bases in Beled Hawo and El Wak, Gedo region, southern Somalia on September 11 and September 16 respectively. Jubaland and SNA forces initiated an additional offensive against al Shabaab last week.[7] 

[1] “A government source refutes Bahah’s claims and reveals the hidden motives behind them,” Saba New, October 4, 2017,; Khaled Bahah, Twitter, September 30, 2017,; and Khaled Bahah, Twitter, October3, 2017,
[2] “A security point in Shaqrah thwarts a smuggling operations for Ethiopian migrants,” Marsad, October 4, 2017,; and Maher Farrukh, Twitter, October 5, 2017,
[3] AQAP targets al Hizam forces in Mudiyah, Telegram, October 5, 2017; and Demolinari, Twitter, October 5, 2017,
[4] “Six citizens killed in Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Sa’ada,” Saba News, October 5, 2017,; and “6 killed in Saudi-led coalition airstrike in car in Sa’ada,” Al Motamar, October 5, 2017,
[5] “Southwest MPs Expected To Lodge Motion Against President,” Radio Shabelle, October 5, 2017.
[6] Samuel Gebre and David Herbling, “Kenya to deploy police for opposition protests and business slows,” Bloomberg, October 5. 2017,
[7] Goldberg, “9 Al Shabaab Militants Killed In A Coordinated SNA Operation In Gedo Region,” Strategic Intelligence Service, October 5, 2017,

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