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: AQAP condemns new Yemeni government; Yemeni Army says Houthis are exploiting truce and calls for war preparations; Houthi spokesperson condemns US-led combined task force in Red Sea
Somalia: Al Shabaab IED kills Jubbaland State security official in southern Somalia; al Shabaab IED targets federal election officials in central Somalia; al Shabaab mortars the parliament building in Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief:
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement condemning the Presidential Leadership Council as illegitimate on April 17.[i] AQAP also said it rejects negotiations with the Houthi movement.
The Yemeni Army claimed the Houthis are exploiting government forces’ commitment to the truce agreement to reinforce their positions in Ma’rib governorate on April 16.[iii] The army said the Houthis “have proven during the past two weeks that they do not want peace” and called on the Yemeni government to prepare for war. The army also accused UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg of ignoring Houthi truce violations.
Houthi movement spokesperson Mohammed Abdul Salam condemned the US-led naval combined counter-smuggling task force in the Red Sea on April 15.[iv] He said the task force undermines the US government’s claim that it supports the truce in Yemen. The task force will be US-led initially, though the US will “quickly” hand leadership to a regional partner.[v]
Somalia Security Brief:
Al Shabaab assassinated the Jubbaland State security forces Buale Gadud sectional commander with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Buale Gadud, Kismayo district, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia, on April 18.[vi] Al Shabaab claimed the IED also killed six other people in the commander’s convoy.
Al Shabaab detonated an IED targeting Somali Federal Electoral Commission members near Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region, central Somalia, on April 17.[vii] The IED killed two bodyguards.[viii]
Al Shabaab mortared the Somali parliament building in Villa Somalia, Mogadishu, during parliament’s first session on April 18.[ix] The mortars failed to hit any MPs but injured seven bodyguards.[x] Al Shabaab also attempted to mortar the swearing-in of new Somali MPs at the Mogadishu airport on April 14.[xi]
[i] Al Youm 8, “The old general is on the scene again.. Report: ‘The Presidential Command’ arrives in Aden, ISIS and al Qaeda vow revenge attacks,” April 17, 2022, http://alyoum8.net/news/91311.
[iii] Akhbar Yemen, “Yemeni Army: Al Houthi continues to violate the armistice and is preparing for war,” April 17, 2022, https://www.yemenakhbar.com/3076618.
[iv] @abdusalamsalah, Twitter, April 15, 2022, https://twitter.com/abdusalamsalah/status/1515012079324995585?s=20&t=5pdsUH12DT5elenL6fYwmw.
[v] Megan Eckstein, “Combined Maritime Forces establishes new naval group to patrol Red Sea region,” MilitaryTimes, April 13, 2022, https://www.militarytimes.com/naval/2022/04/13/combined-maritime-forces-establishes-new-naval-group-to-patrol-red-sea-region/.
[vi] Somalimemo, “Explosion kills Jubbaland administration officials on the outskirts of Kismayo,” April 18, 2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/16295/Qarax-ay-ku-dhinteen-saraakiil-katirsanaa-maamulka-Jubbaland-oo-ka-dhacay-duleedka-Kismaayo.
[vii] Goobjoog News, “Explosion targets FEIT member, two soldiers died,” April 17, 2022, https://goobjoog.com/english/explosion-targets-feit-member-two-soldiers-killed/.
[viii] Halbeeg, “FEIT official survives bomb blast in Jowhar,” April 17, 2022, h https://en.halbeeg.com/2022/04/17/feit-official-survives-bomb-blast-in-jowhar/.
[ix] Goobjoog News, “Seven injured in mortar shell attack on parliament in Mogadishu,” April 18, 2022, https://goobjoog.com/english/seven-injured-in-mortar-shell-attack-on-parliament-in-mogadishu/.
[x] Somalimemo, “Casualties of al Shabaab mortar attack on Villa Hargeisa,” April 18, 2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/16294/Khasaara-ka-dhashay-Weerarkii-Madaafiicda-ahaa-ee-Al-Shabaab-ku-qaadday-Villa-Hargeysa.
[xi] Christopher Muth and Max Ryabinin, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 4, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 15, 2022, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-15-2022.