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: AQAP claims an attack on STC ambulance in Abyan; top Yemeni government officials travel to Riyadh; US ambassador to Yemen meets with Yemeni foreign minister to discuss peace process; US ambassador to Yemen meets with STC President to discuss peace process; STC President meets with Egyptian ambassador to Yemen to discuss peace process

IS-S claims responsibility for an IED attack targeting ATMIS in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants attack a foreign al Shabaab leader in southwestern Somalia; al Shabaab and Somali forces clash in south-central Somalia


Yemen Security Brief

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attacked a Southern Transitional Council (STC) ambulance in al Baqira, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on April 4.[i] AQAP claimed they launched the attack in support of local tribes fighting against STC-backed forces. AQAP did not report casualties.

The Yemeni prime minister, Yemeni finance minister, Yemeni Central Bank governor, and STC president traveled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on April 3 to meet with Saudi government officials.[ii] The purpose of the meeting is unclear.

US Ambassador to Yemen Steven Fagin met with Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak on April 4 to discuss the peace process and US humanitarian aid to Yemen.[iii]

US Ambassador to Yemen Steven Fagin met with STC President Ayadrus al Zubaidi on April 5 to discuss the peace process.[iv] The meeting also discussed the STC’s calls for independent representation in peace negotiations.

STC President Ayadrus al Zubaidi met with the Egyptian Ambassador to Yemen Ahmed Farouk on April 5 to discuss the peace process in Yemen and Yemeni immigration to Egypt.[v]

Somalia Security Brief

The Islamic State in Somalia claimed responsibility on April 5 for an improvised explosive device attack targeting an African Union convoy in Hodan district, Mogadishu, on April 3.[vi] The attack injured three civilians.[vii]

Al Shabaab militants attacked a foreign al Shabaab leader’s home in Jilib district, Middle Jubba region, southwestern Somalia, on April 4.[viii] The clash killed five al Shabaab militants and injured eight others, including targeted leader. The attackers are loyal to the al Shabaab Deputy Emir and special forces head Mahad Karate. The fight reportedly stems from tension between Somali and foreign fighters over leadership disputes.

Al Shabaab and Somali forces clashed in Run Nirgood district, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on April 4. Al Shabaab reportedly attacked a local militia base in the area, while Somali special forces also cleared al Shabaab hideouts in the district.[ix]

[i] SITE Intelligence Group, “In Alleged Support for Local Tribes, AQAP Targets Ambulance of UAE-Backed Forces in Abyan,” April 4, 2023,

[ii] Aidaros Alzubidi, @AidarosAlzubidi, April 3, 2023, Twitter,

[iii] Saba News Agency (ROYG), “The Foreign Minister discusses with the US Ambassador the latest developments in Yemen,” April 4, 2023,

[iv] Aidaros Alzubidi, @AidarosAlzubidi, April 5, 2023, Twitter,

[v] Dera al Ganoob, “President Al-Zubaidi meets with the Egyptian Ambassador,” April 5, 2023,

[vi] Garowe Online, “ISIL claimed that an explosion in Mogadishu was carried out by ATMIS forces,” April 5, 2023,  

[vii] Critical Threats Project, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 3, 2023,” April 3, 2023,

[viii] Garowe Online, “Al Shabaab Infighting Escalates: Attack on Senior Foreign Leader’s House in Jilib City,” April 4, 2023,  

[ix] Caasimada, “Al-Shabaab attacked a camp in Ruun-Nirgood + Casualties,” April 4, 2023,; Somali National News Agency, @SONNALIVE, Twitter, April 4, 2023,  

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