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 plans to hold parliamentary session in Hadramawt; explosion in Sana’a city wounds over 100 and damages schools; UN Special Envoy to Yemen arrives in Sana’a city; likely U.S. drone targets AQAP in Hadramawt; Saudi-led coalition intercepts al Houthi drone in southern Saudi Arabia

Horn of Africa: Sudanese soldiers clash with security forces during protests in Khartoum; al Shabaab seizes village near Kenyan border; SNA and AMISOM forces arrest al Shabaab militants near Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government is scheduled to hold a session of Parliament in Sayun city in Hadramawt governorate in eastern Yemen, according to pro-Hadi media. Hadi government-aligned parliamentarians will elect a new Head of Parliament and set a new legislative agenda. Saudi forces and Presidential Protection Units arrived in Sayun in advance of President Hadi’s expected arrival on April 8. Yemen’s Parliament is based in the al Houthi-controlled capital of Sana’a and many Hadi-aligned parliamentarians currently live in exile.[1]

A large explosion occurred in a warehouse in Shu’aub district in Sana’a city on April 7, injuring more than 100 people and damaging several nearby school buildings. Pro-Hadi media reported that the warehouse contained an al Houthi weapons cache. Pro-al Houthi media reported that the Saudi-led coalition conducted an airstrike on the warehouse. The Saudi-led coalition denied these claims.[2]

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in Sana’a to discuss the al Hudaydah redeployments with al Houthi movement leaders on April 7. The redeployment of forces from al Hudaydah city and nearby ports in western Yemen is a part of the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement, which al Houthi movement and Hadi government representatives signed in December 2018. The redeployments have been delayed to due disagreements between parties.[3]

A likely U.S. drone conducted a strike on a vehicle carrying al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters in Shibam city in Hadramawt governorate in eastern Yemen on April 7.[4]

The Saudi-led coalition intercepted an al Houthi drone en route to Asir city in southern Saudi Arabia on April 7.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Members of the Sudanese military clashed with Sudanese security forces during anti-regime protests in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on April 7 and April 8. Tens of thousands of Sudanese demonstrated against the regime of President Omar al Bashir in Khartoum on April 7 as part of a protest campaign that began in December 2018. Some Sudanese soldiers protected protesters from other security forces, including members of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), while the protesters staged a sit-in outside the Army Headquarters in Khartoum.[6]

Al Shabaab militants seized the village of Dag Adey in Lower Jubba region in southern Somalia from Jubbaland Security Forces on April 6. Likely al Shabaab militants separately detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Hawl Wadag district of the Somali capital Mogadishu on April 8. The explosion killed three civilians.[7]

Somali National Army (SNA) troops backed by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces arrested nine suspected al Shabaab militants near Sabiid village in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on April 8. Somali Danab special forces and AMISOM troops captured Sabiid, which is located 40 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu, on April 1. Somali police separately claimed to uncover an al Shabaab cache of weapons on the outskirts of Mogadishu on April 7.[8]

Visit our YemenSomalia, and Sudan story streams.

[1] “President Hadi arrives in Sayoun during the coming hours will be resolved in the first session of the Yemeni parliament,” Al Mashad al Yemeni, April 8, 2019,

[2] “Explosion in Yemen warehouse kills at least 13, including 7 children,” The New York Times, April 7, 2019,; “Saudi-led air raids ‘kill at least 11 civilians’ in Yemen’s Sanaa,” al Jazeera, April 7, 2019,; “Al Iryani - al Houthi militia stores its weapons in residential neighborhoods in Sana’a,” al Montasaf, April 8, 2019,; and “Tens of civilians wounded and killed in Sana’a,” United Nations Office of The Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, April 8, 2019,

[3] “UN envoy arrives in Yemen for talks with Houthi rebels,” MENA FN, April 7, 2019,; and “UN envoy arrives in Yemen’s rebel-held capital to offer new plan for salvaging peace deal,” Xinhua, April 4, 2019,

[4] “A violent explosion shakes the city of Shibam in Hadramout,” Cratersky, April 7, 2019,

[5] “Saudi-led coalition in Yemen says it intercepts drone launched by Houthis - SPA,” Reuters, April 7, 2019,; and “Arab Coalition intercepts drone launched by Houthis toward Asir region,” Al Arabiya, April 8, 2019,

[6] “Sudan Protest: Clashes among armed forces at Khartoum sit-in,” BBC, April 8, 2019,; Joseph Goldstein, “’Just fall, that’s all’: Sudan protests seeking Al-Bashir ouster gain ground,” The New York Times, April 7, 2019,; and F. Jeffery, Twitter, April 7, 2019,

[7] “Al-Shabaab seizes town near Kenyan border,” Radio Shabelle, April 7, 2019,; and “Somalia: At least 3 injured by land mine explosion in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, April 8, 2019,

[8] “Somalia, AU forces capture 9 Al Shabaab in operation,” Mareeg, April 8, 2019,; “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 2, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 2, 2019,; and “Somali police recover Al-Shabaab arsenal outside Mogadishu,” Hiiraan, April 8, 2019,

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