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: Saudi-led coalition airstrikes and Emirati-backed forces target AQAP stronghold in al Wuday district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen

Horn of Africa: Kenyan electoral commission leader reaffirms elections were free and fair; al Shabaab militants attack Ugandan forces in Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

Emirati-backed al Hizam ground forces, backed by Saudi-led coalition warplanes, raided an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) stronghold in al Wuday district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on September 13. A Saudi Arabian pilot died in a plane crash caused by technical malfunctions while participating in these airstrikes, according to Saudi’s state run news agency. Al Hizam forces arrested several AQAP militants and seized explosives in the raid. Local sources report that several AQAP militants fled in the direction of neighboring al Mahfad district, another AQAP stronghold.[1] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba reaffirmed the minor errors in the August 8 presidential elections were not significant enough to justify annulling the election. The Kenyan Supreme Court declared the election unconstitutional citing irregularities in the results on September 1. Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga stated his National Super Alliance (NASA) party will not participate in the October 17 rerun election if Chiloba and his team are responsible for overseeing the election.[2]

Al Shabaab militants ambushed Ugandan forces in Marka, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on September 14, according to the group’s social media channel. Al Shabaab also claimed that a Somali National Army (SNA) officer surrendered to al Shabaab in Gal Hareeri, Middle Shabelle region, southern Somalia on September 14.[3]   

[1] “General/Coalition leadership announces the martyrdom of a pilot during an operation against al Qaeda in Yemen,” Saudi Press Agency, September 14, 2017,; “Saudi pilot dies during operation against al-Qaida in Yemen,” The Washington Post, September 14, 2017,; “Warplanes bomb the home of President Hadi,” Yemen Akhbar, September 14, 2017,; “A security campaign in Abyan ends with the seizure of explosives and al Qaeda elements,” Aden Tomorrow, September 13, 2017,; Demolinari, Twitter, September 14, 2017,; “Yemeni forces liberate hometown of President Hadi from al Qaeda,” Yemen Tomorrow, September 14, 2017,
[2] Mercy Asamba, “What went wrong with August 8 election, IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba speaks,” Standard Media, September 14, 2017,
[3] “Al Shabaab ambushes Ugandan forces and SNA officer Surrenders,” Telegram, September 14, 2017; and “Al-Shabaab retakes key Somalia port city of Merca, BBC, February 5, 2016,

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