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: STC declares self-rule in southern Yemen; Hadi government forces claim killing al Houthi militants in Sana’a governorate; STC forces claim repelling al Houthi attack in Dhaleh governorate
Horn of Africa: AFRICOM claims airstrike likely killed civilians in Somalia; al Shabaab fires mortar shells on African Union base in Mogadishu; AMISOM claims repulsing al Shabaab attack in southern Somalia; Kenyan police kill suspected al Shabaab member in southern Kenya; Somalis protest police brutality in Mogadishu calling for Somali president’s resignation
Yemen Security Brief:
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed Transitional Political Council of the South (STC) declared self-rule in Aden city and other southern governorates on April 26 in an attempt to displace the internationally recognized Yemeni government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The Saudi-led coalition forces rejected the STC’s declaration of self-rule on April 27, calling both parties to return to the power-sharing Riyadh Agreement. The STC seized control of Aden from Hadi’s government in August 2019, causing Saudi Arabia to broker a cease-fire and later the Riyadh Agreement in November 2019.
Saudi-backed Hadi government forces claimed killing an al Houthi official and several other al Houthi militants in Nihm district in Sana’a governorate. Hadi government forces reportedly advanced in Nihm district on April 23.
STC forces reportedly repelled an al Houthi attack in al Hasha district in Dhaleh governorate on April 25. STC forces claimed gaining control of a road connecting Mukayris in al Bayda governorate and Lawder district in Abyan governorate in southern Yemen. Saudi-backed Hadi government forces previously claimed control over al Houthi-held territories in Mukayris.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) released a statement on April 27 claiming that an airstrike likely killed two civilians and injured three others in Kunya Barrow in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region in February 2019. The airstrike killed two al Shabaab militants. AFRICOM announced a plan to release quarterly reports on its investigations over allegations of civilian casualties in Somalia in late March.
Al Shabaab fired mortar shells targeting the African Union Mission to Somalia forces’ (AMISOM) Halane base camp and Western diplomatic offices in the Somali capital Mogadishu on April 26. The attack killed four people. Al Shabaab launched mortar shells near Halane base camp in mid-April.
AMISOM claimed repulsing an al Shabaab attack near Barawe Airport in Lower Shabelle region on April 25. Al Shabaab militants detonated two suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices targeting a Ugandan AMISOM base in Barawe on April 24.
Kenyan police killed a suspected al Shabaab member in Ngerenya in Kilifi County in southeastern Kenya on April 24. Police forces dubbed the suspect al Shabaab’s leader in Diani, approximately 19 miles south of Mombasa County in southern Kenya. Police said they believed the suspect had been planning attacks on police patrols between Likoni and Ukunda in Mombasa County. They also believed the suspect was involved in shooting and killing two police officers guarding a church in Ukunda in September 2017.
Somali National Army (SNA) forces claimed clearing several al Shabaab roadside bombs in Shalalmadoone and Afgoi district in Lower Shabelle region. Al Shabaab detonated improvised explosive devices targeting SNA soldiers in Lower Shabelle region on April 20 and 21, respectively.
Hundreds of Somali civilians protested in Mogadishu on April 25, calling for the resignation of Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo after Somali police killed two civilians on April 24. The police shot and killed two civilians for walking home during the city’s dusk-to-dawn COVID-19 curfew. Protestors reportedly hijacked police vehicles and blocked the city’s main entry points.
 “Saudi-led alliance in Yemen urges end to escalation in south,” Reuters, April 26, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-south-coalition/saudi-led-alliance-in-yemen-urges-end-to-escalation-in-south-idUSKCN229033; and James Barnett, “Yemen’s anti-al Houthi coalition is collapsing, America’s Gulf partners are partially to blame,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 13, 2019, https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/yemens-anti-al-houthi-coalition-is-collapsing-and-americas-gulf-partners-are-partially-to-blame.
 “A prominent Houthi leader and his companions killed in eastern Sana’a,” Khabar Agency, April 27, 2020, https://www.khabaragency.net/news125447.html; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 23, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 23, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-23-2020.
 “Statement: Heavy losses chasing the al Houthi militia,” 7adramout, April 26, 2020, https://www.7adramout.net/almashhadalaraby/7368886/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AE%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A6%D8%B1-%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AD%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AD%D9%82-%D9%85%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%AB%D9%8A.html; “Disruption of Houthi infiltration by targeting militia with artillery shelling in Hasha,” Khabar Agency, April 25, 2020, https://www.khabaragency.net/news125349.html; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 23, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 23, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-23-2020/
 John Vandiver, “US Africa Command review finds two civilians were killed in Somalia airstrike,” Stars and Stripes, April 27, 2020, https://www.stripes.com/news/us-africa-command-review-finds-two-civilians-were-killed-in-somalia-airstrike-1.627522; “Initial AFRICOM Civilian Casualty Assessment Quarterly Report,” AFRICOM, April 27, 2020, https://www.africom.mil/media-room/press-releases; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 16, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 16, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-16-2020.
 “Four family members killed in Somalia mortar attack,” Garowe, April 27, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/four-family-members-killed-in-somalia-mortar-attack; “Al Shabab claims responsibility for attack on Halane Camp,” Somalimemo, April 27, 2020, https://somalimemo.net/articles/12836/Al-Shabaab-oo-sheegatay-Masuuliyadda-weerar-lagu-qaaday-Xerada-Xalane; “AU, UN compounds in Mogadishu hit by mortar shells,” Hiiraan, April 26, 2020, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2020/Apr/177920/au_un_compounds_in_mogadishu_hit_by_mortar_shells.aspx; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review, - April 20, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 20, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-20-2020.
 “AMISOM Troops Repulse al-Shabaab Attack in Somalia,” Radio Shabelle, April 25, 2020, https://www.radioshabelle.com/amisom-troops-repulse-al-shabab-attack-in-somalia/; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 24, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 24, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-24-2020.
 Mohamed Ahmed, “Police kill Shabaab agent a day after he escaped dragnet,” The Nation, April 26, 2020, https://www.nation.co.ke/news/1056-5535444-stm86v/index.html.
 “Somali National Army launched security operation in Lower Shabelle,” Goobjoog, April 27, 2020, http://goobjoog.com/english/somali-national-army-launched-security-operation-in-lower-shabelle/; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 21, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 21, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-21-2020.
 “Somalia: ‘Down with Farmajo’ chants rock Mogadishu after shooting of civilians,” Garowe, April 27, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-down-with-farmajo-chants-rock-mogadishu-after-shooting-of-civilians; and Abdulkadir Khalif, “Somalia policeman arrested for shooting two during Covid-19 curfew,” Nation, April 26, 2020, https://www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/Covid-19--Somalia-policeman-arrested-for-killing-civilians/1066-5535198-bgfa1wz/index.html.