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-Saleh Supreme Political Council president threatens to increase attacks on Saudi Arabia and UAE; Hadi government Central Bank begins salary payments in Taiz after governor resigns

Horn of Africa: Somali state Galmudug president arrests state vice president and speaker of parliament; Kenyan opposition supporters protest election commission composition

Yemen Security Brief

President of the Supreme Political Council Saleh al Samad stated the al Houthi-Saleh bloc will increase its attacks on Saudi Arabia and threatened to attack the UAE unless the Saudi-led coalition ends its bombing campaign during a speech at the 55th anniversary celebration of the September 26 revolution in Sana’a. Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh used the occasion to reiterate the al Houthi-Saleh bloc’s rejection of UN resolution 2216, the National Dialogue Conference outcomes, and the 2011 Gulf initiative, which form the basis of the internationally recognized Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi government’s legitimacy in Yemen. Yemenis attended September 26 revolution celebrations in Sana’a, Taiz, and al Jawf governorates. The celebrations commemorated the revolution against King Ahmad bin Hamid al Din and subsequent formation of Yemen Arab Republic in northern Yemen in 1962, which remained separate from South Yemen until 1990. President Hadi stressed the need to continue the revolution by advancing the fight against the al Houthi-Saleh bloc.[1] 

The Central Bank of Yemen announced on September 26 that it will begin disbursement of salaries to Taiz governorate employees. The Central Bank initially ignored orders from President Hadi and Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghir on September 25 to pay the salaries. Taiz governor Ali al Maamari resigned from his position and led demonstrations in protest of the bank’s decision. The Central Bank reversed its decision shortly after al Maamari’s announcement. The Hadi government sent 5.5 billion Yemeni riyals to the al Karimi Exchange Company to initiate salary payments in Taiz city on September 25.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

The Galmudug state President Ahmed Dualle Haaf placed Galmudug Vice President Mohamed Hashi Abdi and Speaker of Parliament Ali Gacal Asir under house arrest because of disagreements over President Haaf’s September 19 decision to cut state ties with Qatar on September 26. The Southwest state parliament also voted against cutting ties with Qatar after the Southwest state president announced his intentions to cut ties with Qatar on September 25. The Somali Federal Government (SFG) Prime Minister Hassan Khaire condemned both states for cutting ties with Qatar and pledged to remain neutral in the Gulf rift. The SFG has maintained neutrality because it relies on aid from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.[3] 

Supporters of National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga called for the removal of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials in protests in a dozen cities throughout Kenya on September 26. Riot police broke up the protests using tear gas and batons. Kenya’s chief prosecutor Keriako Tobiko ordered an investigation of the IEBC on September 24. NASA candidate Raila Odinga threatened to boycott the re-run election unless the election officials are replaced.[4]

[1] “Reviving the anniversary of the September 26 revolution in al Jawf,” Al Masdar, September 26, 2017,; “Revival of the celebration of the September 26 revolution in Sana’a,” Al Masdar, September 26, 2017,; “Al Samad attends celebrations of the September 26 revolution,” Saba New, September 26, 2017,; “Saleh urges unity and praises the revolution,” Al Motamar, September 26, 2017,; and “Military parade and mass rallies to mark September 26 revolution in Taiz,” Al Quds al Arabi, September 26, 2017,
[2] The Central Bank of Yemen announces salary payments in Taiz, Facebook, September 26, 2017,; “In protest against the bank’s refusal to pay the salries of employees, Taiz governor resigns from office,” Al Masdar, September 26, 2017,; “Governor of Taiz: I will not raise the sit-in until the dispersement of employee salaries,” Al Masdar, September 25, 2017,; “Central Bank of Yemen announces the disbursement of salaries in Taiz,” Aden Lang, September 26, 2017,; “Prime Minister oversees the delivery of Taiz governorate salaries to the Karimi Exchange Company,” Saba New, September 25, 2017,
[3] “Somalia: Galmudug VP and Parliament Speaker under house arrest,” All Africa, September 26, 2017,; and Ismail Akwei, “Somalia calls regions to order for breaching state's neutrality in Gulf crisis,” Africa News, September 22, 2017,
[4] George Obulutsa, “Kenyan police use tear gas, batons to disperse opposition protest,” Reuters, September 26, 2017,; and Felix Njini and Samuel Gebre, “Kenya may face constitutional crisis over election impasse,” Bloomberg, September 25, 2017,

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