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 Hadi issues presidential decree convening Parliament; Saudi Patriot system shoots down al Houthi drone in Hadramawt; Hadi government Foreign Minister meets UN officials in New York; Saudi-led coalition conducts airstrikes in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Sudanese military ousts President Bashir; SFG Prime Minister travels to Washington D.C.; AFRICOM conducts first airstrike in Somalia since March; al Shabaab detonates IED targeting Puntland police chief in Boosaaso

Yemen Security Brief

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a presidential decree to convene Parliament in Sayun city in Hadramawt governorate in eastern Yemen on April 10. Hadi government-aligned parliamentarians are scheduled to meet for a session on April 13 in advance of the al Houthi movement’s parliamentary elections on the same day.[1]

A Saudi Patriot missile defense system shot down an al Houthi drone over Sayun airport on April 11, according to pro-Hadi government sources.[2]

Hadi government Foreign Minister Khalid al Yamani met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo in New York on April 10 to discuss the implementation of the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement. The German government separately stated on April 11 that it would send up to five police and five military personnel to participate in the UN observer mission in Yemen.[3]

The Saudi-led coalition conducted two airstrikes against al Houthi unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) facilities in Yemen’s capital Sana’a on April 10. Saudi-led coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al Maliki confirmed that the strikes are part of a larger campaign to disrupt the al Houthi movement’s UAV capabilities.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Sudanese Defense Minister General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf declared a two-year military transitional government to replace President Omar al Bashir on April 11. Auf stated that Bashir has been detained in a secure location. Tens of thousands of Sudanese have protested against Bashir’s regime since December 2018. Some soldiers and police began defecting to the protesters’ camp and clashing with pro-regime security forces earlier in the week. The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, one of the largest protest groups, declared that it was prepared to negotiate with the military but that it would only accept a transitional civilian government.[5]

Somali Federal Government (SFG) Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire met with U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton in Washington D.C. on April 10. Bolton and Khaire discussed counterterrorism cooperation. Khaire also met with David Malpass, the new president of the World Bank. The Trump administration separately extended a national emergency declaration regarding Somalia on April 10. Executive Order 13536, which President Barack Obama signed in 2010, declares that the situation in Somalia poses an “extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” and sanctions 11 individuals for contributing to insecurity in Somalia.[6]

United States Africa Command (U.S. AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike against al Shabaab near Jilib town in Lower Jubba region in southern Somalia on April 9. The strike killed one al Shabaab militant. This was the first AFRICOM airstrike in Somalia since March. AFRICOM halted airstrikes in Somalia following a March 18 Amnesty International report that attributed 14 civilian deaths to AFRICOM airstrikes in Somalia between 2017 and 2018. The report prompted AFRICOM to conduct an internal review of its airstrikes in Somalia.[7]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Puntland police vehicle in Boosaaso, the commercial capital of Puntland, in northern Somalia on April 11. The vehicle was carrying Puntland police chief Hussein Ali Mohamed, who escaped unharmed. The explosion injured six officers.[8]

View our Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Somalia story streams.

[1] “Yemen Parliament returns from Hadramout,” Sky News Arabia, April 10, 2019,

[2] “Houthi’s first threat to Sayun and Saudi Arabia thwarted a serious attack on the city,” Mareb Press, April 11, 2019,

[3] “Foreign Minister stresses support for the path of the United Nations to reach a sustainable solution to the Yemeni crisis,” Tahdeeth, April 11, 2019,; and “German government agrees to send international observers to Hodeidah,” Aden LNG, April 11, 2019,

[4] “The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Targeting and Destruction of two locations (a workshop for manufacturing and a store for platforms for launching and preparing UAVs) In Sana’a Used by Iran-Backed Terrorist Houthi Militia,” Saudi Press Agency, April 10, 2019,

[5] “Sudan’s Bashir detained, military council takes over: defence minister,” Africa News, April 11, 2019,; Eliza Mackintosh and James Griffiths, “Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir forced out in coup,” CNN, April 11, 2019,; “Sudan’s main protest group says it will only accept civilian transitional government,” Reuters, April 11, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 8, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 8, 2019,

[6] “Somalia PM meets with Trump’s National Security Adviser,” Garowe, April 11, 2019,; “Trump extends emergency order declaring Somalia threat to U.S. security,” Goobjoog, April 11, 2019,; and “Executive Order 13536 of April 12, 2010,” Department of the Treasury, April 15, 2010,

[7] “Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. target al-Shabaab,” United States Africa Command, April 10, 2019,; and “US resumes air raids in Somalia after brief pause,” Radio Kulmiye, April 11, 2019,

[8] “Somalia: Six hurt as blast hits police vehicle in Bosaso,” Mareeg, April 11, 2019,

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