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 rebels fight with Yemeni soldiers in Sana’a; 111th Brigade initiate strike in Abyan; al Houthi leader meets with UN Special Envoy in Sa’ada; UN evacuates staff to Aden

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants assassinate local government official in Kenya’s Northeastern Province; Somali Prime Minister lauds success of program that offers amnesty for al Shabaab defectors

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi rebels continued fighting with Yemeni soldiers on September 18 as militants began a siege on al Iman University located in northwestern Sana’a. Local residents reported that the al Houthi militants are also advancing via Thalathin Street, a main road that leads to the center of capital. Additionally, commander of the Air Defense Brigade in the Sixth Military Region, Sadiq Makrah, was killed in an al Houthi ambush that occurred on September 16 in Shamlan, Sana’a.[1]
  • Soldiers from the 111th Infantry Mountain Brigade in Ahwar, Abyan went on strike on September 16, stating that they were “easy prey” for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).[2]
  • Leader of the al Houthi movement, Abdul Malik al Houthi stated that he will not renounce any demands previously issued to the government during his September 17 negotiations with the United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar. Separately, al Houthi militants seized control of a military camp in al Jawf on September 17, resulting in the deaths of two Yemeni soldiers.[3]
  • The U.N. allegedly evacuated its main office in Sana’a and relocated staff to Aden on September 18.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants killed a local administrator, Muhammed Ibrahim, at his residence in Mandera County in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on September 18. The militants fired upon the administrator’s home and threw a grenade before fleeing the scene. Separately, an unknown gunman killed one and injured three in Garissa town in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on September 18.[5]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed lauded on September 18 the recent government amnesty program for al Shabaab defectors, claiming that more than 30 former militants already defected. Prime Minister Ahmed further expressed that the program divides al Shabaab leadership.[6]

[1] “Armed Shi’ite rebels push into Yemen’s capital,” Reuters, September 18, 2014. Available:
“Shia rebels in Yemen besiege university run by Sunni radicals,” The Guardian, September 18, 2014. Available:
“The killing of a senior military commander in clashes with Houthis near Shamlan,” Barakish, September 17, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “111th Brigade Soldiers on Strike in Abyan,” Yemen Times, September 18, 2014. Available:
[3] “Jamal Bin Omar and spokesman Alhothin exports accounted statements about negotiations Saada,” Barakish, September 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Houthi says he will not give up their demands and calls upon the parties to the lack of international concern,” al Masdar, September 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“al Houthis control of the camp in the directorate of the crucified in al Jawf,” Barakish, September 17, 2014. Available:
[4] “UN evacuates staff from Sana’a to Aden,” Aden al Ghad, September 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] Adow Jubat, “Mandera assistant chief succumbs to injuries after grenade attack,” Standard Digital, September 18, 2014. Available:
Cyrus Ombati, “Man shot dead, three otherswounded by unknown assailants in Garissa gun attack,” Standard Digital, September 18, 2014.Available:
[6] “Somali PM: Amnesty for al-Shabab militants ‘is working’,” BBC, September 18, 2014. Available:
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