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: Al Houthis confirm death of al Houthi leader’s nephew; al Houthis detain former Hadi government culture minister in Sana’a; al Houthis claim repelling Saudi-led coalition forces in northern Yemen; al Houthis shoot down Saudi-led coalition plane in al Hudaydah governorate
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab launches mortar attack targeting Mogadishu’s Green Zone; SNA drives al Shabaab from areas in Kismayo in southwestern Somalia; ISCA claims shooting down Mozambican military helicopter in northern Mozambique; AMISOM implements lockdown in Mogadishu base camp due to coronavirus
Yemen Security Brief:
The al Houthi movement reported on April 18 that the nephew of al Houthi movement leader Abdul Malik al Houthi died during clashes between al Houthi militants and Saudi-backed forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government in Sirwah district in Ma’rib governorate in northern Yemen. The al Houthi movement did not specify a date of death. Saudi-backed Hadi government forces claimed attacking al Houthi militants in Sirwah district in late March.
Al Houthi militants detained a former culture minister aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on April 19. Al Houthi militants seized Khalid al Ruweishan’s personal papers and documents before taking him to an undisclosed location. Ruweishan reportedly criticized the al Houthi movement for its failure to address recent flooding in Sana’a. A Hadi government official urged al Houthi militants to release Ruweishan, stating that al Houthi militants continue violating human rights by abducting political figures and journalists. The al Houthi movement sentenced four journalists to death in mid-April, charging them with treason and espionage.
Al Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea stated on April 19 that al Houthi militants repelled two Saudi-led coalition attacks in Majzar district in Ma’rib governorate and Khub wa al Shaf district in al Jawf governorate in northern Yemen. Sarea claimed that al Houthi militants destroyed several Hadi government force armored vehicles and caused several Hadi government forces casualties. Al Houthi militants accused Saudi-led coalition forces of launching airstrikes on several northern Yemeni governorates including Ma’rib and al Jawf on April 14.
Al Houthi militants claimed shooting down a Saudi-led coalition reconnaissance plane with a surface-to-air missile over al Shajan village in al Durayhimi district in al Hudaydah governorate in western Yemen on April 20. Al Houthi militants claimed shooting down a Saudi-led coalition reconnaissance plane over al Tahita district in al Hudaydah governorate in mid-March.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Al Shabaab fired at least nine mortar shells on the Green Zone in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on April 19. The attack injured two civilians. The Green Zone includes the African Union Mission to Somalia’s (AMISOM) Hanale Base Camp, several diplomatic missions, and an international airport. Al Shabaab launched a mortar attack on the Green Zone in mid-March.
Somali government-run media reported on April 20 that Somali Danab special forces drove al Shabaab militants from Abdi Dhere and Beerxani in Kismayo city in southwestern Somalia’s Lower Jubba region. Danab forces foiled two al Shabaab vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attacks near Buulo Gaduud in Lower Jubba region in late March.
Pro-Islamic State Amaq News Agency published a video on April 20 showing Islamic State’s Central Africa Province (ISCA) militants standing over a crashed Mozambican military helicopter that the militants allegedly shot down near Quissanga in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province on April 8. ISCA militants shot down a Mozambican government-aligned mercenary helicopter in Cabo Delgado province on April 10, causing the mercenaries to perform an emergency landing and destroy the helicopter to prevent militants from seizing it, according to local media.
AMISOM implemented a lockdown in its Halane base camp in Mogadishu’s Green Zone on April 19 due to the coronavirus. AMISOM established a limited quarantine in the camp in late March after a foreign contractor tested positive for the virus. AMISOM plans to end the lockdown on May 2.
 “Houthi leader’s nephew killed in Yemen fighting,” Asharq al Awsat, April 19, 2020, https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2241866/houthi-leader%E2%80%99s-nephew-killed-yemen-fighting; and Jessica Kocan and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 31, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 31, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-31-2020.
 “Uproar in Yemen after Houthis abduct former minister,” Asharq Al Awsat, April 20, 2020, https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2242901/uproar-yemen-after-houthis-abduct-former-minister; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - April 13, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 13, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-13-2020#_ftn3.
 “Saudi-backed forces suffer heavy losses in failed northern Yemen offensive,” Al Masdar News, April 19, 2020, https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/saudi-backed-forces-suffer-heavy-losses-in-failed-northern-yemen-offensive-3/; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - April 15, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 15, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-15-2020.
 “Yemen Army downs saudi spy drone over hudaydah,” Tasnim News, April 20, 2020, https://tn.ai/2247186; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 10, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 10, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-10-2020.
 “Mortar shells hit fortified Green Zone in Somalia’s capital,” Garowe, April 20, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/mortar-shells-hit-fortified-green-zone-in-somalias-capital; and Jessica Kocan and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 19, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 19, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-19-2020.
 Liibaan Cabdi Caddow, “Heavy fighting erupts in Kismayo town,” Somalia National News Agency, April 20, 2020, https://sonna.so/kumaandooska-danab-oo-howlgal-ka-fuliyay-degaano-hoostaga-duleedka-kismaanyo/; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 23, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 23, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-23-2020.
 “'Amaq Video Shows Mozambican Military Helicopter Allegedly Shot Down by ISCAP Fighters in Quissanga,” SITE Intelligence Group, April 20, 2020, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; and Peter Fabricius, “‘SA private military contractors’ and Mozambican airforce conduct major air attacks on Islamist extremists,” Daily Maverick, April 9, 2020, https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-04-09-sa-private-military-contractors-and-mozambican-airforce-conduct-major-air-attacks-on-islamist-extremists/.
 “AMISOM Puts Halane Base Camp on 2-Week Lockdown,” Somtribune, April 18, 2020, https://www.somtribune.com/2020/04/18/somalia-amisom-puts-halane-base-camp-on-2-week-lockdown/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=somalia-amisom-puts-halane-base-camp-on-2-week-lockdown; and Jessica Kocan and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 30, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 30, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-30-2020.