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 announces a major reorganization of Yemen’s government; Saudi Arabia and the UAE pledge aid to the new Yemeni government; Houthis violate ceasefire in central Yemen
Somalia: Al Shabaab raids Burundian AMISOM bases in south-central Somalia; al Shabaab IED targets SNA soldiers in southern Somalia; al Shabaab mortars Ethiopian base in southwestern Somalia; AMISOM officials demand the removal of NISA from Mogadishu airport green zone
Yemen Security Brief:
President Hadi announced a major reorganization of Yemen’s government on April 7. He dismissed Vice President Ali Mohsen al Ahmar and announced the formation of the Presidential Leadership Council.[i] The eight-member council will assume the powers of Yemen’s presidency and vice presidency. Hadi stepped down as Yemen’s head of state.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with members of the new Presidential Leadership Council on April 7.[ii] He urged the Council to begin negotiations with the Houthis and pledged financial aid. Saudi Arabia and the UAE pledged $3 billion to support the Council on the same day.[iii] Saudi Arabia and the UAE will each transfer $1 billion to Yemen’s central bank. Saudi Arabia will also give $1 billion to purchase oil products and support development projects.
The Houthis violated the truce by attacking Yemeni Army positions near al Balaq in southern Ma’rib governorate, central Yemen, on April 8.[iv] The Yemeni Army repelled the attack. Both sides exchanged artillery fire. Local sources reported the engagement as the Houthis’ “fiercest attack” since the April 1 truce. Houthi media claimed that the Yemeni Army initiated the violations by attacking Houthi positions in al Wadi district in southern Ma’rib governorate.[v]
Somalia Security Brief:
Al Shabaab raided Burundian African Union in Somalia (AMISOM) bases in Buurane and Biya Ade, Jowhar district, Middle Shebelle region, south-central Somalia, on April 7.[vi] Al Shabaab claimed the attack injured five soldiers.
Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers in Golweyn, Marka district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on April 6.[vii] Al Shabaab claimed the attack killed four soldiers.
Al Shabaab mortared an Ethiopian AMISOM base near Burhakaba, Bay region, southwestern Somalia, on April 8. Al Shabaab claimed the attack killed two Ethiopian soldiers.[viii] Civilians said stray mortars killed one civilian.[ix]
AMISOM officials demanded the removal of Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) officers from Halane base, Mogadishu, on April 6.[x] AMISOM officials claimed they lost confidence in NISA after two gunmen dressed in NISA uniforms and with NISA IDs attacked the base on March 23.[xi]
[i] Saba New, “Issuance of a presidential declaration on the transfer of power and the formation of the Presidential Leadership Council,” April 7, 2022, https://www.sabanew.net/story/ar/85336; Saba New, “A republican decision to relieve Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar of his post,” April 7, 2022, https://sabanew.net/viewstory.php?id=85335.
[ii] Al Arabiya, “Saudi Crown Prince meets with new Yemeni presidential council, pledges aid,” April 7, 2022, https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/04/07/Saudi-Arabia-welcomes-Yemeni-president-decision-to-transfer-power.
[iii] Bloomberg, “Yemen’s President Steps Aside in Boost for Efforts to End War,” April 7, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-07/saudi-arabia-uae-to-give-3-billion-to-yemen-in-new-peace-push.
[iv] Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, “The fiercest attack on Ma’rib after the arrival of huge reinforcements and the intervention of artillery and ‘aircraft,’” April 8, 2022, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/229416; Al Bawabh, “The Yemeni Army repels a Houthi attack in Ma’rib, inflicting heavy losses on them,” April 8, 2022, https://www.albawabhnews.com/4557767.
[v] Al Masirah, “In a major violation of the armistice, the mercenaries of the aggression launch a wide advance south of the city of Ma’rib,” April 8, 2022, https://www.almasirah.news/post/210336/.
[vi] Radio al Furqaan, “Burundian soldiers wounded in Middle Shabelle, department commissioner killed in Baidoa,” April 7,2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/04/askar-burundi-ah-oo-lagu-dhaawacay-sh-dhexe-gudoomiye-waaxeed-lagu-dilay-baydhabo/.
[vii] Somalimemo, “Five soldiers killed in clashes and explosion in Bula Mareer district,” April 6,2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/16229/5-Askari-oo-ku-dhintay-iska-horimaad-iyo-qarax-ka-dhacay-degmada-Buula-Mareer.
[viii] Radio Risaala, “Mortar attack on Ethiopian military base,” April 8, 2022, https://radiorisaala.com/253690-2/.
[ix] Saalah Sa’id Sabriye, “Al-Shabab shells Ethiopian military base,” Caasimada, April 8, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/al-shabab-oo-madaafiic-ku-garaacday-saldhig-ay-ku-sugan-yihiin-ciidanka-itoobiya/.
[x] Keydmedia, “NISA and AU mission in deadlock over Halane security,” April 6,2022, https://www.keydmedia.net/news/nisa-and-au-mission-in-deadlock-over-halane-security.
[xi] Christopher Muth and Maxim Ryabnin, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 23, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 23, 2022, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-23-2022.