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 leader gives first television interview; STC leader pledges to liberate part of Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Islamic State detonates IED targeting regional governor in Boosaaso; EU NAVFOR rescues Yemeni fisherman from Somali pirates; SFG President Farmajo travels to Eritrea for official visit; U.S. envoy meets with Sudanese military leaders and opposition in Khartoum

Yemen Security Brief

Al Houthi movement leader Abdul Malik al Houthi gave his first television interview on al Houthi-run Masirah TV on April 22. Al Houthi reiterated the al Houthi movement’s claims that al Houthi missiles are capable of striking Riyadh, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.[1]

President of the National Assembly of the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC) Ahmed Said bin Brik pledged to use Emirati-backed Yemeni forces to liberate Wadi Hadramawt in central Hadramawt governorate in eastern Yemen from al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on April 23. Emirati-backed security forces held a military parade in Mukalla city in southern Hadramawt on April 24 to celebrate the third anniversary of the forces’ capture of Mukalla from AQAP.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Islamic State militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting the car of the Bari region governor in Boosaaso, the commercial capital of Puntland in northern Somalia, on April 24. The explosion wounded four bodyguards.[3]

European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) rescued four Yemeni fisherman from Somali pirates approximately 320 miles off the coast of Somalia on April 23. EU NAVFOR vessels also intercepted and boarded the dhow that the pirates were using as a mothership for the kidnapping.[4]

Somali Federal Government (SFG) President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo arrived in the Eritrean capital Asmara for an official visit on April 24. Farmajo will meet with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.[5]

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Africa and The Sudans Makila James met with acting Sudanese leader Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al Burhan and representatives of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on April 23. James later met with representatives of the Sudanese opposition as well as the UAE’s Ambassador to Sudan. Protesters have demanded that the Transitional Military Council, which overthrew President Omar al Bashir on April 11, step aside for a civilian government. James encouraged the Sudanese opposition to engage with the Transitional Military Council during her meetings.[6]

Visit our Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan story streams.

[1] “Yemen’s Houthis says Saudi, UAE in missile range in Hodeidah truce cracks,” Reuters, April 22, 2019,; and Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, April 23, 2019,, and

[2] Ahmed Said bin Brik, Twitter, April 23, 2019,; and “Ben Brik vows to liberate Hadramawt valley” Tahdeeth, April 23, 2019,

[3] “Three wounded in landmine explosion in Bosaso city,” Radio Shabelle, April 24, 2019,; and “IS’ Somalia Province claims assassination attempt on governor for Bari region,” SITE Intelligence Group, April 24, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

[4] “EU Naval forces thwarts pirate attack off Somali coast,” Goobjoog, April 24, 2019,

[5] “President Farmajo arrives Asmara for official visit,” Goobjoog, April 24, 2019,

[6] “Senior US delegation meets with Sudan’s military council, opposition leaders,” Radio Dabanga, April 24, 2019,; “UAE Ambassador to Sudan meets U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs,” Emirates News Agency, April 23, 2019,; and US Embassy Khartoum, Twitter, April 23, 2019,

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