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: Saudi and Omani delegations conclude talks with Houthis in Sana’a; Yemeni president and PLC deputies meet with former Yemeni President Hadi; Saudi ambassador to Yemen briefs Yemeni PLC on results of Saudi-Houthi talks; Yemeni foreign minister meets with Saudi ambassador to Yemen to discuss peace process; STC president meets with Swedish envoy to Yemen to discuss peace process

Somalia: SNA and Turkish-trained special forces secure several villages in north-central Somalia; SNA and Somali special forces preemptively attack al Shabaab in southern Somalia; anti-al Shabaab forces secure several villages in southwestern Somalia; al Shabaab detonates an MBIED in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

Saudi, Omani, and Houthi delegations concluded ceasefire talks and departed Sana’a on April 14.[i] The Saudi foreign ministry said the talks focused on recent Houthi-Yemeni government (ROYG) prisoner exchanges, renewing a ceasefire agreement, and pursuing a long-term political resolution.[ii] The statement also said that a new round of talks will resume “as soon as possible.”

The Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) and other high-ranking Yemeni officials met with former Yemeni President Mansour Hadi in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on April 14 to congratulate him on his brother’s release from Houthi prison.[iii] The release was part of a recent Houthi-ROYG prisoner exchange.

The PLC met with Saudi ambassador to Yemen on April 17.[iv] The Saudi ambassador briefed the PLC on the results of the Saudi-Houthi talks that took place in Sana’a in mid-April. The Yemeni foreign minister met with the Saudi ambassador to Yemen in a separate meeting on April 16 to discuss developments in the peace process.[v]

Southern Transitional Council (STC) President Aydarus al Zubaidi met with the Swedish Envoy to Yemen on April 16 to discuss developments in the Saudi-Houthi talks.[vi]

Somalia Security Brief

The Somali National Army (SNA) and Turkish-trained Gorgor special forces secured several villages in El Dheere district, Galguduud region north-central Somalia, from April 15 to April 17[vii]. The operations killed at least five al Shabaab members, including a regional leader.[viii]

The SNA, US-trained Danab special forces, and Turkish-trained Gorgor special forces preemptively attacked al Shabaab militants in Janale, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on April 15.[ix] The SNA reported that al Shabaab militants were preparing to attack an African Union convoy in a nearby region.[x] The clash killed 10 al Shabaab militants.[xi]

The SNA and local fighters secured five villages in Baidoa district, Bay region, southwestern Somalia, on April 16.[xii]

Al Shabaab prematurely detonated a motorcycle-borne improvised explosive device (MBIED) after a police chase in Hamar Jajab district, Mogadishu, southern Somalia, on April 16.[xiii] The explosion killed three al Shabaab members and injured one civilian.[xiv]

[i] Mareb Press, “The Saudi Foreign Ministry announces the results of Ambassador Al Jaber’s visit to Sana’a, and what is the next step?” April 15, 2023,

[ii] Foreign Minstry, @KSAmofaEN, April 15, 2023, Twitter,

[iii] December 2, “Chairman and members of the Leadership Council visit the former president,” April 14, 2023,

[iv] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “Details of the meeting of the Presidential Leadership Council with the Saudi ambassador after his negotiations with the Houthi militia,” April 17, 2023,

[v] Al Thawrah, “The Foreign Minister meets the Saudi ambassador to Yemen,” April 16, 2023,

[vi] 26 September News, “Major General Al-Zubaidi discusses developments in the political process with the envoy of the Kingdom of Sweden,” April 17, 2023,

[vii] Halbeeg, “Govt forces seize al-Shabaab control village in central Somalia,” April 17, 2023, ; Somali National Television, @sntvnews1, Twitter, April 16, 2023,  ; Samatalis Haille, @foritssake, Twitter, April 17, 2023,

[viii]  Halbeeg, “Govt forces seize al-Shabaab control village in central Somalia” ; Somali National Television, @sntvnews1, Twitter ; Samatalis Haille, @foritssake, Twitter

[ix] Somali National News Agency, “Somali National Army kills at least 9 Al-Shabaab fighters during an operation,” April 15, 2023,

[x] Somali National News Agency, “Somali National Army kills at least 9 Al-Shabaab fighters during an operation”

[xi] Caasimada, “Al-Shabaab planned a dangerous attack on ATMIS and was killed,” April 15, 2023,

[xii] Caasimada, “The second phase of a war against al-Shabaab started in the Bay region and captured areas,” April 16, 2023,

[xiii] Goobjoog News, “Three Al-Shabaab militants killed in own explosion after police chase,” April 16, 2023,

[xiv] Halbeeg, “Blast kills three al-Shabaab suspects in Mogadishu,” April 16, 2023,

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