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: President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi claims political dialogue alone will not solve Yemen crisis; Amnesty International reports U.S.-made bomb used for Saudi-led coalition airstrike; Kuwait announces its willingness to host political negotiations; ISIS releases images of militants training in al Bayda governorate, central Yemen

Horn of Africa: Somali Federal Government condemns states cutting ties with Qatar; Kenyan AG rebuffs constitutional crisis concerns; USAID to increase humanitarian aid to Somalia; China pledges development support for Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

Internationally recognized President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi stated that the crisis in Yemen cannot be solved through political dialogue alone and called the al Houthi-Saleh bloc religious extremists in a speech at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 21. Hadi also called on the international community to increase humanitarian aid, curb Iranian influence in Yemen, and pressure the al Houthi-Saleh movement through Security Council resolutions.[1]

Amnesty International reported that the August 25 Saudi-led coalition airstrike, which hit a residential building in Sana’a city, used American-made explosives. The airstrike killed 16 civilians and injured 17 others, including a five-year-old girl whose photo went viral after the strike. Saudi Arabia stated the strike was caused by a technical error. The U.S. supports the Saudi-led coalition through weapons sales and refueling its warplanes.[2]

Kuwait announced that it would be willing to host political negotiations for Yemeni parties to reach a peace agreement at the UN General Assembly on September 20. Kuwait hosted a three-month negotiation brokered by the UN in 2016, which ended without a resolution. Kuwaiti Prime Minister Jaber al Mubarak al Hamad al Sabah rejected direct interference in Yemen’s internal affairs and stated that a political settlement should be based on the 2011 Gulf Cooperation Council initiative.[3]   

The Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat al Bayda released images depicting roughly half a dozen militants training how to operate mortars on September 22. ISIS maintains a small presence in al Bayda, governorate, central Yemen where it fights alongside AQAP and local tribal forces against the al Houthi-Saleh bloc.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

The Somali Federal Government condemned four Somali states for cutting ties with Qatar and pledged to remain neutral in the Gulf rift with Qatar on September 21. The Southwest and Galmudug states cut ties with Qatar on September 18 and 19 respectively. Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire discussed strengthening diplomatic relations with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al Thani during a meeting at the UN General Assembly on September 22.[5]

Kenyan Attorney General Githu Muigai asserted Kenya will not endure a constitutional crisis if the re-run presidential election does not occur before the constitutional deadline on October 31 during a news conference on September 22. AG Muigai insisted Uhuru Kenyatta will remain in office until a new election occurs. National Super Alliance (NASA) party leaders claimed AG Muigai misread the constitution on September 22. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission postponed the vote to October 26 because the voting systems could not be installed in time for the re-run election.[6] 

USAID administrator Mark Green announced USAID will contribute an additional $575 million in humanitarian aid for the victims of famine and war in Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan, and Nigeria on September 21. USAID contributed $639 million in aid on July 8. The U.S. has provided $2.5 billion in humanitarian assistance to the four countries since October 2016.[7]  

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pledged to support Somalia’s development during a meeting with Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire at the UN General Assembly on September 22. China provided naval-based assistance in Somalia to protect cargo vessels in spring 2017.[8] 

[1] “Hadi asks UN and international community to take responsibility in Yemen,” Saba New, September 21, 2017,; and “Houthis celebrate September 21 revolution,” Al Masdar, September 21, 2017,
[2] “Yemen: US-made bomb kills and maims children in deadly strike on residential homes,” Amnesty International, September 22, 2017,; and Patrick Wintour, “US-made bomb killed civilians in Yemen residential building, says Amnesty,” The Guardian, September 22, 2017,
[3] “Kuwait ready to host Yemenis to sign final agreement,” Kuwait News Network, September 21, 2017,
[4] Demolinari, Twitter, September 22, 2017,; and Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, September 22, 2017,
[5] “Somalia chides its regions for cutting ties with Qatar,” Al Jazeera, September 22, 2017,
[6] “Kenya not at risk of constitutional crisis ahead of election re-run: top legal offical,” Reuters, September 22, 2017,
[7] “Somalia: U.S. boosts aid for war famines by U.S. $575 million,” All Africa, September 22, 2017,
[8] “Somali PM meets with Chinese Foreign Minister in New York,” Radio Shabelle, Septemeber 22, 2017,

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