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: Hadi government ambassador meets with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister in Moscow; UN Secretary General calls for Yemeni parties to reach political solution; AQAP claims multiple attacks against Emirati-backed forces and al Houthi forces in Abyan governorate and al Bayda governorate; al Houthi security forces kill AQAP explosives expert

Horn of Africa: Somali Deputy Speaker fires House Secretary after President suspends vote of no confidence against Lower Speaker; al Shabaab IED kills seven people in Bulo Burde, Hiraan region; AMISOM leaders review ICT capabilities 

Yemen Security Brief

Hadi government ambassador to Russia Ahmed Salem al Wahishi met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov to discuss the state of the Yemen conflict and Russian support for its resolution in Moscow on April 2. Al Wahishi last met with Bogdanov on February 8.[1]

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for Yemeni parties to reach a political resolution during a conference in Geneva, Switzerland on April 3. Switzerland, Sweden, and the UN hosted a donor conference to fund a $2.96 billion humanitarian relief effort in Yemen. UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths and Hadi government Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al Mikhlafi attended the conference. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have provided $930 million to the relief effort. Other donors have provided $293 million.[2]

The official al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Telegram channel claimed multiple attacks against Emirati-backed forces in southern Yemen and al Houthi forces in central Yemen. AQAP’s official channel had not claimed an attack since March 15. AQAP militants ambushed al Hizam Security Forces in Mudiyah district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on March 19 and assassinated an al Hizam soldier in Wade’a district, Abyan on March 29. AQAP militants attacked al Houthi forces with a landmine in al Zub area, al Quraishyah district, al Bayda governorate, central Yemen on March 29 and March 30. AQAP militants also attacked al Houthi forces near Jabal Jamida in the al Zub area on March  30.[3]

Al Houthi security forces killed an AQAP explosives expert in al Nadirah district, Ibb governorate, central Yemen on April 3, according to al Houthi state media. The security forces intercepted the AQAP militant at a checkpoint.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

A leadership crisis continued in the Somali parliament. The Somali Deputy Speaker of the Lower House, Abdiwelli Mudey, fired House Secretary General Abdikarim Buhu on April 2 after Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo suspended a parliamentary session on March 31. MPs were scheduled to vote on a motion of no confidence against Lower House Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari during the session. Jawari intended to chair the March 31 session and discuss an ongoing border dispute with Kenya, but Speaker Mudey asserted that the no-confidence motion would instead be tabled before the parliament. Mudey responded to President Farmajo’s cancellation of the motion by firing Secretary General Buhu on April 2, accusing Buhu of partisanship and illegally interfering in political matters. Buhu dismissed Mudey’s actions, saying the deputy speaker had no power to fire him.[5]

Al Shabaab militants killed seven people with a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) in Bulo Burde district in Hiraan region, central Somalia on April 2. Al Shabaab militants targeted a military convoy on the road but struck a civilian donkey cart, according to the Bulo Burde District Commissioner. Al Shabaab’s Telegram channel, Shahada News Agency, claimed that militants attacked a Djiboutian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base in Bulo Burde on  April 2.[6]

AMISOM leaders started a workshop to review the information, communications, and technology (ICT) capabilities of the regional security forces on April 2. The AMISOM Deputy Force Commander In-charge of Operations and Planning said that ICT capabilities are necessary to secure communications networks and ensure intelligence sharing between security forces fighting al Shabaab. AMISOM authorities inspected email, radio communication, internet, satellite phones, and other communications infrastructure.[7]

[1] “Ambassador al Wahishi meets with Russian President’s Representative for the Middle East and Africa,” Saba New, April 2, 2018,; and “Russian Deputy Foreign Minister discusses with the Ambassador to Yemen the situation in Yemen,” Barakish, April 2, 2018,
[2] “UN chief leads drive for aid pledges for war-battered Yemen,” AP News, April 3, 2018,; and “Yemen, U.N. chief seek peace talks with Iran-allied Houthis,” Reuters, April 3, 2018,
[3] AQAP militants attack al Hizam forces in Mudiyah, Telegram, April 2, 2018; AQAP militants assassinate al Hizam soldier in Wade’a, Telegram, April 2, 2018; AQAP militants attack al Houthi forces with a landmine in al Zub, Telegram, April 2, 2018, AQAP militants attack al Houthi forces with a landmine in al Zub, Telegram, April 2, 2018, AQAP militants attack al Houthi forces near Jabal Jamida, Telegram, April 2, 2018; and “AQAP claims 2 attacks on SBF in Abyan, 3 on Houthis in al Bayda in 12 day period,” SITE Intelligence Group, April 2, 2018, available by subscription at
[4] “The death of an expert in explosives and explosive belts of the so-called al Qaeda in Ibb,” Saba News, April 3, 2018,
[5] “Five days and no direction, MPs point fingers at President Farmaajo,” Goobjoog, April 3, 2018,; “Jawari spills the beans, claims Farmaajo pleaded with him to resign,” Goobjoog, April 3, 2018,; and “Political Crisis Far From Over As Mudey Fires House General Secretary In Show Of Power,” Radio Dalsan, April 2, 2018,
[6] “At least 7 killed in landmine attack in central Somalia,” Xinhua, April 3, 2018,; “‘AlShabaab’ IED Explosion Kills 6 Family Members In BuloBarde,” Radio Dalsan, April 2, 2018,; Al Shabaab militants attack Djiboutian military base in Bulo Burde, Telegram, April 2, 2018.
[7] “AU Mission in Somalia reviews its ICT capabilities to enhance effectiveness,” AMISOM News, April 2, 2018,

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