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 Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clash in Ma’rib governorate; UN warns of possible displacement of 100,000 Yemenis in Ma’rib governorate by September
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab launches mortar toward presidential palace in Mogadishu; al Shabaab kills district commissioner in Mogadishu; UN Security Council urges SFG to resume electoral negotiations
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Yemen Security Brief:
Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clashed along the Kassara front in central Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate on April 21, reportedly killing at least four al Houthi militants. The two sides clashed along the Kassara front on April 15.[i]
The spokesman for the UN Secretary-General said on April 20 that ongoing fighting between al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces will displace more than 100,000 people in Ma’rib governorate by September if the fighting does not stop. The escalated fighting in Ma’rib governorate has displaced roughly 20,000 people from February 8 to April 10.[ii]
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Al Shabaab fired mortars toward the presidential palace in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on April 21. Al Shabaab previously fired mortars targeting an electoral negotiation meeting at Halane base camp in Mogadishu in late March.[iii]
Al Shabaab planted an improvised explosive device in Mogadishu on April 20, killing Daynile district’s deputy commissioner. Suspected al Shabaab militants killed a district official in Mogadishu’s Warta Nabada district on April 15.[iv]
The UN Security Council convened an informal meeting to discuss Somali presidential elections on April 20. Several UN member states condemned Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo’s extended presidential term and urged the Somali Federal Government and Somali member states to resume electoral negotiations immediately. The Somali Union of Presidential Candidates and Jubbaland and Puntland State Presidents appealed to the UN Security Council to reject President Farmajo’s extended mandate on April 19.[v]
[i] “Battles intensified on the Ma’rib fronts, and 4 senior militia leaders were killed,” Mareb Press, April 21, 2021, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?sid=173619&lang=arabic; and Amelia Frederking and Lauren Detter, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 16, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 16, 2021, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-16-2021/.
[ii] “The UN warns of the displacement of a hundred thousand Yemenis from Ma’rib,” Al Jazeera, April 21, 2021, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/humanrights/2021/4/21/%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%a3%d9%85%d9%85-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%85%d8%aa%d8%ad%d8%af%d8%a9-%d8%aa%d8%ad%d8%b0%d8%b1-%d9%85%d9%86-%d9%86%d8%b2%d9%88%d8%ad-100-%d8%a3%d9%84%d9%81-%d9%8a%d9%85%d9%86%d9%8a-%d9%85%d9%86; and “Highlights of the Noon Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres,” United Nations, April 20, 2021, https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight/.
[iii] “Shabaab Claims Shelling Presidential Palace in Mogadishu, Successfully Assassinating Former Hirshabelle Commander After Failed Attempt,” SITE Intelligence Group, April 21, 2021, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 26, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 26, 2021, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-26-2021.
[iv] “Daynile deputy DC killed in IED attack,” Goobjoog, April 20, 2021, https://goobjoog.com/english/daynile-deputy-dc-killed-in-ied-attack/; Liibaan Jeexoow, “Al Shabaab claims responsibility for Daynile deputy governor’s death,” Somalimemo, April 20, 2021, https://somalimemo.info/articles/14555/Al-Shabaab-oo-sheegatay-Masuuliyadda-qarax-lagu-dilay-guddoomiye-ku-xigeenkii-Dayniile; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 16, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 16, 2021, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-16-2021.
[v] “UN Security Council expresses concern over situation in Somalia,” Horseed Media, April 21, 2021, https://horseedmedia.net/2021/04/21/golaha-amaanka-ee-qm-oo-walaac-ka-muujiyey-xaaladda-soomaaliya/; and “The National Security Council sends a letter to the Security Council regarding the extension,” Horseed Media, April 20, 2021, https://horseedmedia.net/2021/04/20/madasha-badbaado-qaran-oo-qoraal-ku-saabsan-muddo-kordhinta-u-dirtay-golaha-amaanka/.