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: AQAP targets security checkpoint in Zinjibar city, Abyan governorate; Hadi government deploys reinforcements to Nihm district; Sana’a governorate; President Hadi outlines plan for Yemen; Saudi National Guard reinforces the Saudi-Yemeni border in Najran region

Horn of Africa: Somali election officials holding last-minute meetings in Mogadishu in an effort to avoid second delay; EU provides AMISOM with 198 million dollars in funding

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants attacked a security checkpoint in Zinjibar city, southern Abyan governorate on September 23. AQAP last targeted security forces in Zinjibar on September 12. Security forces arrested an AQAP cell in Zinjibar on September 18.[1]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government deployed reinforcements to Nihm district, northeast of Sana’a city, on September 23. A military spokesman announced that the government forces plan to seize Sana’a airport with the additional troops deployed to Nihm. Hadi government forces are attempting to take control of Nihm before advancing on Sana’a.[2]
  • President Hadi outlined his plans for a reformed Yemen in an interview with al Jazeera on September 22. President Hadi called for the formation of six unified federal states that will draw their military and security personnel from the local population. He argued that Yemen’s tribal system is “something of the past.” President Hadi also noted that former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is currently allied with the al Houthi movement, had previously waged a war against the al Houthis.[3]
  • The Saudi National Guard deployed reinforcements to southern Najran region, along the Saudi-Yemeni border, on September 23 in response to al Houthi-Saleh cross-border attacks. A Saudi military spokesman described the reinforcements as a rapid response strike groups equipped to fight guerilla-style warfare.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali election officials are holding a meeting in Mogadishu on September 23 in a last-minute attempt to resolve logistical concerns over the lower house elections scheduled to begin on September 24. Members of the Federal Indirect Election Implementation Team (FIEIT) are meeting with state level election teams (SIEITs) to resolve issues of security and funding. Federal officials blamed tribal leaders for delays in submitting their tribes’ delegate lists. Tribal delegates are required to elect a tribesman to serve as a representative in the lower house.[5]
  • The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) accepted 198 million dollars in funding from the European Union (EU) for expenses accrued from January 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. The EU cut funding to AMISOM troop contributing countries (TCCs) by 20 percent in January 2016. Some reports claimed that AMISOM troops have not received allowances in months.[6]
[1] Demolinari, twitter, September 23, 2016,
[2] “The national leadership of the army and the resistance Taiz front "insatiable" send new brigades equipped with the latest weapons,” Ahkbar Yemen, September 23, 2016,
[3] “Highlights from President Hadi’ interview with Al-Jazeera,” September 22, 2016,; Qaid, Twitter, September 22, 2016,
[4] “View pictures of strike combat forces and new military units with quality equipment in Najran,” Hunaaden, September 23, 2016,
[5] “Somali electoral body warns of cash crunch signalling poll delays,” Goobjoog News, September 22, 2016,  
[6] Felix Njini, “African Union Says EU Funds Secured for Its Mission in Somalia,” Bloomberg, September 23, 2016,
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