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 and anti–al Houthi forces clash in Ma’rib governorate; al Houthis kidnap medical professionals in Sana’a governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali President signs bill extending presidential mandate until 2023; suspected al Shabaab militants attack police stations in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief:

Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clashed in Majzar district of central Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate on April 14. Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clashed along Ma’rib governorate’s al Masjah front on April 12.[i]

The al Houthi movement kidnapped 12 doctors and 17 healthcare workers in Sana’a governorate throughout early April. The healthcare workers reportedly refused to provide medical aid to al Houthi fighters in Ma’rib, al Jawf, and Dhaleh governorates.[ii]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” signed a law on April 13 that extends his presidential mandate for two years. This comes after Somalia’s Lower House of Parliament voted on April 12 to hold direct presidential elections by 2023. The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said this decision will require the US to reevaluate its relations with the SFG.[iii] 

Suspected al Shabaab gunmen attacked a police station in Warta Nabada district in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on April 13. Suspected al Shabaab militants attacked a police station in Mogadishu’s Bar Ubah neighborhood the same day.[iv]

[i] “The latest developments in the battles raging on the fronts of Ma’rib,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, April 14, 2021,; and “The army forces are making important progress on the al Masjah front, and the militia has suffered heavy losses,” Aden al Ghad Provincial News, April 13, 2021,

[ii] “Al Houthi militia carries out a campaign of kidnappings among the medical personnel who refuse to fight,” Hadramawt, April 13, 2021,

[iii] “Somali president signs law extending mandate for two years ,” France24, April 14, 2021,; “Lower House resolution illegal and threat to stability – Senate,” Goobjoog, April 13, 2021,; and “Biden, Johnson threaten sanctions, aid cuts to Somalia as Farmaajo remains put,” Goobjoog, April 13, 2021,

[iv] Liibaan Jeexoow, “Attacks on bases in Banadir region,” April 14, 2021, Somalimemo,

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