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 forces destroy bridge on road between Aden and Sana’a; Saudi-led coalition conducts airstrikes against al Houthi positions in al Bayda

Horn of Africa: Somali Federal Member State leaders boycott National Security Council meeting in Mogadishu; al Shabaab attacks AMISOM bases in Gedo and Lower Shabelle; al Shabaab detonate IEDs in Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle; Sudan protest group suspends talks with military council

Yemen Security Brief

Al Houthi forces destroyed a bridge on the main road in Qataba district of Dhaleh governorate in central Yemen on April 22. Al Houthi forces were attempting to prevent forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government from advancing from Dhaleh into neighboring Ibb governorate. The Qataba road is the main route linking Aden port city in southern Yemen to the al Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a. Al Houthi forces separately detained twenty World Food Programme trucks carrying relief aid in Ibb governorate on April 22.[1]

The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes against al Houthi positions in al Zahir district in al Bayda governorate in central Yemen on April 21. The airstrikes destroyed anti-aircraft missiles and two military vehicles.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Officials from Somalia’s Federal Member States boycotted a meeting of the Somali Federal Government’s (SFG’s) National Security Council in Mogadishu on April 19. SFG President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo called an urgent meeting of the National Security Council, which includes representatives from Somalia’s five Federal Member States, last week. Some Federal Member State officials, including the presidents of Jubbaland, Galmudug, and Puntland, traveled to Nairobi instead to hold private meetings with each other.[3]

Al Shabaab militants attacked Ethiopian troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) at an AMISOM base in Garbaharey town in Gedo region in southwestern Somalia on April 20. AMISOM forces repulsed the attack. Al Shabaab separately attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM base in Golweyn town in Lower Shabelle region on April 21. SNA and AMISOM forces repulsed the attack.[4]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an SNA convoy near Sabiid town in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on April 21. SNA and AMISOM forces captured Sabiid, which is located 40 kilometers south of the Somali capital Mogadishu, in early April. Suspected al Shabaab militants separately detonated a car bomb in Mogadishu on April 22, injuring two people.[5]

Sudan’s leading protest group, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), suspended negotiations with Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) on April 21. The SPA accused the TMC of being composed of remnants of former President Omar al Bashir’s regime. The SPA demands an immediate transition to a civilian transitional government. Military officers overthrew Bashir and announced the formation of the TMC on April 11.[6]

 View our Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan story streams.

[1] “Militia explodes al Watif Bridge between Ibb and al Dhaleh,” Aden LNG, April 22, 2019,; and “Houthi militia hold 20 relief trucks,” Mareb Press, April 22, 2019,

[2] “Coalition fighters bomb sites and military vehicles of al Houthi militias in al Bayda,” Khabar Agency, April 22, 2019,  

[3] “Somali state members boycott to meet in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, April 22, 2019,; and Abdimalik Anwar, Twitter, April 22, 2019,

[4] “Al-Shabaab clashes with Somali and AU troops in Somalia,” Radio Shabelle, April 21, 2019,; and “Al Shabaab ambushes army bases in Somalia,” Mareeg, April 20, 2019,

[5] “Somalia: Six soldiers killed in explosion,” Mareeg, April 21, 2019,; and “Two people wounded in Mogadishu explosion,” Radio Shabelle, April 22, 2019,

[6] “Sudan crisis: Military issue protest warning,” BBC, April 22, 2019,

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