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: New Speaker of Parliament meets UN, U.S., and Hadi government officials in Riyadh; UN Security Council urges all parties to agree to al Hudaydah redeployments; AQAP offers prisoner swap with the Islamic State in Yemen; al Houthi forces fire Zilzal 1 missiles at Saudi-led coalition-backed forces in al Dhaleh

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detonates VBIED and car bomb in Mogadishu; al Shabaab kills Ethiopian and South West State soldiers in Baidoa; EU naval commander meets UN officials in Mogadishu; Sudanese military arrests President Bashir’s brothers

Yemen Security Brief

Speaker of Parliament Sultan al Barqani met with U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Tueller in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on April 18. Barqani also met with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, UN Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, Chairman of the UN Redeployment Coordination Committee Michael Lollesgaard, and the Hadi-aligned Governor of al Hudaydah governorate in Riyadh on April 17. Yemeni parliamentarians elected Barqani Speaker on April 17 during the first session of Yemeni parliament of the civil war. Ambassador Tueller and U.S. CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie separately discussed counterterrorism cooperation with President Hadi in Riyadh on April 15.[1]

The UN Security Council expressed “grave concern” that the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement has not been implemented on April 18. The Security Council urged all parties to agree to the concept of operations for the second phase of the Stockholm Agreement. The second phase requires al Houthi forces to withdraw from al Hudaydah port and critical humanitarian sites in al Hudaydah city in western Yemen. Emirati-backed Yemeni forces would then withdraw several kilometers from their current positions on the outskirts of al Hudaydah city.[2]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) offered to conduct a prisoner exchange with the Islamic State in Yemen in an attempt to mediate recent clashes between the groups. AQAP promised to free all of its members that are currently in captivity and vowed that anyone who harms them will pay a “swift price.”[3]

Al Houthi forces fired three Zilzal 1 missiles at Saudi-led coalition-backed forces along the Maris front near Damt city in al Dhaleh governorate in central Yemen on April 17.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) and a car bomb in Mogadishu on April 17. The car bomb detonated outside a hotel along Makka al Mukarama road and targeted an intelligence official from Galmudug state, who escaped unharmed. Al Shabaab militants subsequently detonated a VIBED outside a restaurant near the Waberi district police station, killing at least four people.[5]

Al Shabaab killed an Ethiopian soldier from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and a member of the South West State security forces in Baidoa, the capital of Bay region in southern Somalia, on April 17.[6]

European Union Naval Forces Somalia (EU NAVFOR) commander Rear Admiral Ricardo Hernandez arrived in Mogadishu on April 17 for meetings with UN and international officials. NAVFOR is a counter-piracy mission that covers the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean.[7]

Sudan’s Transitional Military Council announced on April 18 that it has detained two of former President Omar al Bashir’s brothers in an effort to uproot symbols of the previous regime. The Transitional Military Council also claimed that it has brought militias and armed groups loyal to Bashir under military and police control. Military officers overthrew President Bashir on April 11 after months of anti-regime protests. The officers have since announced a two-year transitional military government and moved Bashir to a prison to await trial within Sudan.[8]

Visit our Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan, story streams.

[1] US Embassy Yemen, Twitter, April 18, 2019,; U.S. Central Command, Twitter, April 16, 2019,; “President of the Republic receives the Commander of the U.S. Army Central Command,” President Hadi, April 15, 2019,; “The President of the Republic receives the UN envoy,” President Hadi, April 17, 2019,; “The President of the Republic receives the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” President Hadi, April 17, 2019,; and “Griffiths, Lollesgaard Carry ‘Hodeidah’s Arrangements’ to Legitimate Government,” Asharq al Awsat, April 18, 2019,’s-arrangements-legitimate-government.

[2]“Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Sudan, Libya, Yemen updates, solutions for e-waste, flood response in Iran, online security for children,” UN News, April 17, 2019,

[3] Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, April 18, 2019,

[4] “Yemeni Missiles Hit Gatherings of Saudi-Backed Forces in Dhale,” Tasnim News Agency, April 18, 2019,

[5] “Car bomb kills 4 at police station and hotel in Somalia,” Garowe, April 18, 2019,; and “UPDATE: Four killed in suicide explosion in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, April 17, 2019,

[6] “Al-Shabaab claims killing two soldiers, including Ethiopian,” Radio Shabelle, April 17, 2019,

[7] “Somalia; EU Naval Force chief arrives in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, April 17, 2019,

[8] “Sudan military arrests Bashir’s brothers, ‘tame’ militia groups,” Africa News, April 18, 2019,; and “Sudan military rulers detain two of Bashir’s brothers,” Daily Monitor, April 18, 2019,

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