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 Houthis attack residential neighborhoods in al Hudaydah governorate; UN and ICRC officials say Hadi government and al Houthis may soon conduct mass prisoner swap
Horn of Africa: Somali opposition parties seek investigation over alleged relations between NISA and al Shabaab; Ugandan AMISOM soldier tests positive for COVID-19
Yemen Security Brief:
Al Houthi militants reportedly launched artillery and mortar shells on residential neighborhoods in Hays in al Hudaydah governorate in western Yemen on April 29. Al Houthi militants fired artillery targeting residential neighborhoods in Hays on April 28.
UN and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) officials stated on April 29 that a mass prisoner exchange of approximately 1,000 prisoners between forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government and the al Houthi movement could soon take place. An al Houthi official approved a UN proposal for implementing the prisoner swap in early April. The UN proposal suggested implementing the prisoner exchange in two phases, the first involving an exchange of 1,030 prisoners each and the second involving 390 prisoners each. This large-scale prisoner exchange is a key stipulation of the December 2018 UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
The Forum for National Parties, a coalition of Somali opposition parties, wrote a letter to Somali officials, including Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, asking for an investigation into alleged relations between the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) and al Shabaab. The letter comes after the Kenyan National Intelligence Service publicized a report on suspicions relations between the NISA and al Shabaab. The report alleged that the NISA briefs al Shabaab and supports the group’s attacks on the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF). The report also included alleged receipts of a financial exchange made by NISA officials to al Shabaab. Kenyan local media reported that the NISA funds al Shabaab attacks on the KDF in mid-April.
A Ugandan African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) official confirmed that a Ugandan AMISOM soldier tested positive for coronavirus and is receiving treatment at a military hospital in the Somali capital Mogadishu. Al Shabaab’s spokesman suggested that foreign forces intentionally spread the virus in Somalia on April 28.
 “Houthi militia continues to bombard the residential neighborhoods of Hays,” Adnlng, April 30, 2020, http://adnlng.info/news/144958/; and Kalissa Azooz and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 28, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 28, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-28-2020.
 “UN, ICRC plan 'potential' prisoner swap in Yemen,” Al Jazeera, April 29, 2020. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/icrc-plan-potential-prisoner-swap-yemen-200429145404017.html; Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 7, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 7, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-7-2020.
 “Somalia’s opposition alliance demands probe into NISA’s alleged links with Al-Shabaab,” Garowe, April 30, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalias-opposition-alliance-demands-probe-into-alleged-nisas-links-with-al-shabab; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 17, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 17, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-17-2020.
 “AU soldier tests positive for coronavirus in Somalia,” Garowe, April 30, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/au-soldier-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-in-somalia; “UPDF soldier in Somalia tests positive for COVID-19,” Mustaqbal Radio, April 30, 2020, https://www.mustaqbalradio.net/updf-soldier-in-somalia-tests-positive-for-covid-19/; and Kalissa Azooz and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 29, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 29, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-29-2020.