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: Hadi-government convenes Parliament in Hadramawt governorate; UN Special Envoy announces agreement on first phase of al Hudaydah redeployments

Horn of Africa: Airstrike kills deputy commander of Islamic State in Somalia; U.S. military may take seven years to complete Somalia training mission; Ethiopian security services foil suspected al Shabaab terror plot in Addis Ababa; protesters continue sit-in at army HQ in Sudanese capital

Yemen Security Brief

Yemen’s Parliament held its first session since the beginning of the civil war in Sayun city in Hadramawt governorate in eastern Yemen on April 13. President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi called for parliament to convene on April 10 and traveled to Sayun with parliamentarians and Hadi government officials on April 12. Representatives from al Houthi-controlled territory attended the session, according to pro-Hadi media. The parliamentarians elected Sultan al Barqani of the General People’s Congress (GPC) as speaker of parliament.[1]

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths announced on April 15 that the Hadi government and al Houthi movement agreed to a plan to implement the first phase of redeployments in al Hudaydah governorate in western Yemen as part of the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement. Al Houthi forces are set to withdraw from Ras Isa Oil Terminal and Saleef Port in al Hudaydah governorate during the first phase of redeployments. Griffiths acknowledged the delay in implementing the withdrawals in a letter to President Hadi on April 15. Griffiths is scheduled to brief the UN Security Council on the status of the Stockholm Agreement on April 15.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Likely U.S. aircraft conducted an airstrike in Puntland region in northern Somalia that killed deputy commander of the Islamic State in Somalia Abdihakim Dhuqub on April 14. Unidentified aircraft fired several missiles at a vehicle transporting Dhuqub several kilometers outside Xiriiro village in the Qandala mountains in Puntland. Dhuqub was one of the founders of al Ittihad al Islamiya, a predecessor of al Shabaab, in the 1990s.[3]

U.S. Department of Defense officials stated that the U.S. military’s training mission in Somalia will not likely finish until 2026, according to CNN. U.S. special operations forces are deployed in Somalia to train the elite Danab special forces battalion of the Somali National Army (SNA).[4]

Ethiopian security services foiled a suspected al Shabaab terrorist plot in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Ethiopian Attorney General Berhanu Tsegaye stated on April 12 that Ethiopian police had arrested individuals with suspected links to al Shabaab after they had been observed surveilling locations in Addis Ababa, preparing fake passports and ID cards, and making other arrangements for an operation. The group’s planned attack would have been “vast and severe,” according to Tsegaye.[5]

Protesters continued demonstrating against Sudan’s new military transitional government in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on April 15. Soldiers attempted to break up a days-long sit-in at the army’s headquarters in Khartoum on April 15. The soldiers stopped after protesters joined hands and prevented them from advancing, however. Leading protest groups have demanded a civilian transitional government, the dismantling of Sudan’s “deep state,” and the prosecution of officials who served in President Omar al Bashir’s government. The Sudanese military arrested Bashir on April 11 after months of nationwide anti-regime protests.[6]

Visit our Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan story streams.

[1] “House of Representatives holds its first meeting since 2015 in Sayoun,” Al Bawaba, April 13, 2019,; “President Hadi arrives in Sayun,” Yemen Window, April 12, 2019,; and “Yemeni Parliament resumes sessions in Hadramaut, “ Kuna Net, April 13. 2019,

[2] Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Twitter, April 15, 2019,; “The UN Envoy recognizes the delay in the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement and evades responsibility for the militias,” Aden Time, April 15, 2019,; and “The Security Council hears the briefings of Griffith and Lowcock,” Al Youm 8, April 15, 2019,

[3] Abdiqani Hassan, “Air strike kills Islamic State deputy in Somali region,” U.S. News & World Report, April 14, 2019,

[4] Ryan Browne, “US military mission in Somalia could take seven years to complete,” CNN, April 13, 2019,

[5] “Ethiopian police foil ‘major Al Shabaab terror plot’ in raids,” Mareeg, April 12, 2019,

[6] “Sudan crisis: Protest leaders demand end of ‘deep state,’” BBC, April 15, 2019,

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