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: Saudi-led coalition provides humanitarian assistance to tribe in Hajjah governorate; Islamic State in Yemen targets AQAP in al Bayda governorate; Saudi-led coalition airstrikes target al Houthi airbase near Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab assassinates Somalia’s Deputy Attorney General in Mogadishu; Ethiopian Prime Minister meets with former Somali rebel leaders in Addis Ababa; Burundian President calls for summit to address drawdown of Burundian forces in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

The Saudi-led coalition conducted an airdrop of relief materials and medical supplies to the Hajour tribe in the Kushar district of eastern Hajjah governorate in western Yemen on February 19. The Hajour tribe began an uprising against the al Houthi movement along a critical supply route in Hajjah governorate on January 24.[1]

The Islamic State in Yemen targeted an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) vehicle with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Dhi Kalib al Asfal village in northwestern al Bayda governorate in central Yemen on February 19.[2]

The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes on the al Houthi-controlled Daylami Airbase in the Bani Hashish district north of Sana’a city in central Yemen on January 20. The airstrikes were part of an ongoing air campaign to degrade al Houthi drone capabilities.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants assassinated the Somali Federal Government (SFG) Deputy Attorney General, Mohamed Mursal, in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, on February 20. Al Shabaab militants also attacked a patrol of Ethiopian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces with two IEDs in Bardhere town in Gedo region, southern Somalia on February 20. The IEDs destroyed an armored personnel carrier. The number of casualties is unknown.[4]

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and members of the ruling party’s executive committee met with a leadership delegation of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a former rebel group, in Addis Ababa on February 20. This is the first official meeting between the Ethiopian government and the ONLF since the two parties signed a peace agreement in 2018.[5]

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza called for an urgent summit of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troop-contributing countries on February 20 in order to review the decision to withdraw 1,000 Burundian troops by the end of February. Burundi receives compensation for its participation in AMISOM and has opposed the withdrawal of its troops. The African Union has already determined which units will be withdrawn, according to Ugandan media.[6]

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[1] “Governor of Hajjah reveals the nature of support given by the coalition to the tribe of Hajour through an airdrop,” al Mashhad al Yemeni, February 20, 2019,; and “Threat Update: Situation Report - February 6, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 6, 2019,

[2] Gilles N., Twitter, February 20, 2019,

[3] “Coalition fighters launch air raids on al Dilmi air base and Houthi positions in Sana’a,” Sahafa Net, February 20, 2019,; “Two violent explosions north of Sana’a,” Mareb Press, February 20, 2019,

[4] Harun Maruf, Twitter, February 20, 2019,; and “Dual explosions hit African Union troops on board in Somalia,” Mareeg, February 20, 2019,

[5] Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, “Ethiopia PM meets leaders of ex-Ogaden rebels in Addis Ababa,” Africa News, February 20, 2019,

[6] “Burundi urges summit over troop drawdown plan in Somalia,” Daily Monitor, February 20, 2019,

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