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 : Al Houthi missile hits medical camp in al Hudaydah governorate; UN humanitarian coordinator warns that currency crisis is driving millions closer to famine; al Houthi movement leader vows to continue fighting the Saudi-led coalition; al Houthi official threatens to arrest demonstrators in Sana’a  

Horn of Africa : Somali Federal Government blocks former Shabaab deputy leader from running for office; Ethiopian human rights commission calls for military deployment to areas of ethnic conflict; unidentified airstrike hits al El Adde, Gedo region, southern Somalia; SNA kills senior al Shabaab commander in Lower Shabelle region

Yemen  Security Brief

Al Houthi forces fired three missiles at the Bani Jaber medical camp in al Khokha district, al Hudaydah governorate, western Yemen on October 5. The attack killed at least one women and injured three civilians. The camp is under the supervision of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief).[1]

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Lisa Grande warned that the rapid and uncontrolled devaluation of the Yemeni rial is driving millions of Yemenis closer to famine in an October 5 press release. Grande said that prices for basic commodities skyrocketed in the past four weeks due to the currency crisis. UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock previously warned that the humanitarian situation in Yemen has significantly deteriorated in recent weeks during a September 21 briefing to the UN Security Council.[2]

Al Houthi movement leader Abdul Malik al Houthi announced that Yemenis would not surrender and would continue to fight the Saudi-led coalition until Yemen is liberated in an October 4 speech. Al Houthi affirmed that he would welcome a political resolution that ends the ongoing Saudi-led coalition aggression and occupation of Yemen. Al Houthi blamed Saudi Arabia for the al Houthi delegation’s inability to attend UN-led consultations in Geneva on September 6.[3]

A member of the al Houthi Political Council Hussein al Amlah warned Sana’a residents and General People’s Congress party activists not to participate in protests in an October 5 video, according to Saudi media. Al Amlah threatened to arrest demonstrators and assault them if they took to the streets of Sana’a. Al Houthi forces reportedly deployed hundreds of troops in the streets of Sana’a to prevent demonstrators from protesting.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

The Somali Federal Government (SFG) blocked al Shabaab’s former deputy leader, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, from filing his candidacy for  president of Somalia’s Southwest state on October 4. Robow had announced his campaign for the November state elections earlier in the day on October 4. The SFG’s Interior Ministry stated that Robow is disqualified from running for office on the grounds that he is still under international sanctions.[5]

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission  called on the Ethiopian government to deploy the military to stabilize areas where ethnic conflict has occurred in recent months. The commission’s chairperson, Addisu Gebregziabher, held a press conference in Hawassa, where the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition held its congress. The Ethiopian Congress re-elected Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as party chairman on October 5.[6]

Unidentified aircraft conducted an airstrike on al Shabaab positions in El Adde, Gedo region, southern Somalia on October 4. The airstrikes killed 10 militants, including a senior commander, according to the Somali National Army (SNA). Al Shabaab accused the U.S. of conducting the airstrikes, which the group claimed caused civilian casualties in residential areas. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has not commented on the strikes.[7]

The SNA killed a senior al Shabaab commander in Haakow, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on October 4. The SNA did not name the commander.[8]

[1] “Women killed, many injured in al Houthi attack on KSRelief camp in Yemen,” Arab News, October 5, 2018,; “Al Houthi missiles kill one, injure many in KSRelief camp in Yemen’s al Hudaydah,” Al Arabiya, October 5, 2018,; and “Al Houthi forces kill and wound civilians in missile attacks on al Hudaydah,” Al Madaniya, October 5, 2018,

[2] “The currency crisis in Yemen is driving millions of people one step closer to famine,” Relief Web, October 5, 2018,

[3]  “The speech of Abdul Malik al Houthi in memory of the martyrdom of Imam Zein,” Al Masirah, October, 4, 2018,; and “Yemeni nation not to give in to aggressors’ demands: al Houthi leader,” Press TV, October 5, 2018,

[4] “Call for protests in Sana’a threatens al Houthis,” Sky News Arabia, October 5, 2018,; and “al Houthis threaten to abduct women if Yemenis go to protest,” Al Arabiya, October 5, 2018,

[5] “Somalia blocks ex-Shabaab leader from vying for state presidency,” Goobjoog, October 5 2018,; “Gulf of Aden Security Review: October 4, 2018,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 4, 2018,

[6] Daniel Mumbere, “Ethiopia rights body calls for deployment of army in violent regions,” Africa news, October 4 2018,; Harun Maruf, Twitter post, October 5 2018, 6:19 AM,; “Government failing to enforce rule of law--Ethiopian Human Rights Commission,” Ezega, October 4, 2018,; and Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, “Ethiopia’s ruling EPRDF re-elects PM Abiy Ahmed as leader,” African News, October 5, 2018,

[7] “An Airstrike in El-Adde, Southern Somalia Kills 8 Al-Shabaab Militants including a Senior Commander,” Intelligence Briefs, October 4 2018,; and “US military accused of targeting civilians in Somalia,” Mareeg, October 4 2018,

[8] SNA Radio, Twitter post, October 4 2018, 5:04 AM,





View Citations
Arrow down red
Nov '18
Oct '18
Sep '18