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 forces claim capturing al Houthi-held territory in Ma’rib governorate; Hadi government forces accuse al Houthis of attempting to assassinate Hadi government official in Sana’a; al Houthis seize humanitarian aid and prevent distribution in Hajjah governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali Attorney General’s bodyguards shoot at checkpoint near former Somali president’s residence in Mogadishu; Somali Ministry of Information defends AFRICOM airstrikes in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

Saudi-backed forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi claimed capturing territory from the al Houthi movement in Hilan in Ma’rib governorate in northern Yemen on April 1. A Hadi government general said that forces gained control over Misra and Mimna, inflicting several al Houthi militant casualties. Saudi-backed forces claimed recapturing several areas from the al Houthi movement in Sirwah district in Ma’rib governorate on March 31.[1]

Hadi government forces accused the al Houthi movement of attempting to assassinate a Hadi government official in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on April 1. The official belonged to a political party previously led by former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, according to local sources.[2]

Al Houthi militants seized humanitarian aid belonging to the World Food Program (WFP) and prevented aid distribution in Abs district in Hajjah governorate in northwestern Yemen, according to local sources. The al Houthi militants reportedly threatened to destroy 175 tons of wheat and seized six WFP convoys transporting flour, claiming that the food was unsafe for human consumption. The al Houthi movement claimed burning 160 tons of wheat from the WFP in Taiz governorate in southwestern Yemen in mid-March.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Bodyguards belonging to the Somali Attorney General shot at a security checkpoint outside the residence of former Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in the Somali capital Mogadishu on April 1. The attack caused no injuries. Ahmed is the leader of the Forum for National Political Parties (FNP), a coalition of Somali opposition political parties. The Somali Federal Government (SFG) denied on March 24 FNP accusations that the SFG was planning to attack Ahmed’s residence.[4]

The Somali Ministry of Information released a statement on April 1 defending US Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) airstrike campaign in Somalia. The Somali government accused al Shabaab of using civilians as human shields to avoid airstrikes and described AFRICOM as essential to military operations against al Shabaab. Amnesty International released a report on April 1 accusing AFRICOM of causing civilian airstrike casualties in Somalia and failing to investigate them.[5]

[1] “The army has made great progress on the Hailan and Madun front towards Sana’a,” Mareb press, April 2, 2020,

[2] “ A Yemeni leader survived an assassination attempt and accusation of houthi,” 7adramout, April 2, 2020,

[3] “Houthis impose new obstacles on WFP aid in Hajjah, Yemen,” Asharq al Awsat, April 2, 2020,; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 17, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 17, 2020,   

[4] “Police fire shots at former president's home in Mogadishu Somalia,” Garowe, April 2, 2020,; and “Somalia says reports of plot to attack ex-president Sharif ‘baseless’,” Somali Affairs, March 24, 2020,

[5] Somali Ministry of Information, Twitter, April 1, 2020,; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - April 1, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 1, 2020,

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