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 release Egyptian fishermen

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks AMISOM base in southern Somalia; al Shabaab militant escapes from Ugandan prison; SFG forces take control of Gedo districts from Jubbaland security forces

Yemen Security Brief

The al Houthi movement released dozens of Egyptian fishermen and allowed them to fly back to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on February 4. The al Houthis detained the fishermen in December 2019 after accusing them of trespassing. Egyptian government officials stated that they had negotiated the release with Yemeni and Saudi authorities since mid-December 2019.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants attacked an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base near Marka in Somalia’s southeastern Lower Shabelle region overnight on February 4. The militants attacked a Somalia National Army base near Marka in two separate attacks in October 2019.[2]

A Somali al Shabaab militant escaped from a Ugandan prison nearly two weeks ago. Abdul Kadir Mohammed Mohammud Sandir plotted several attacks in the Ugandan capital Kampala in 2014 with five other Somali militants. Ugandan security forces re-arrested Sandir in 2018. Security officials have launched a manhunt for Sandir and an investigation into his escape.[3]

Somali Federal Government (SFG) forces took control of Beled Hawo and Dolow districts in Somalia’s Gedo region from Jubbaland security forces on February 4. Local sources reported that the SFG wants to prevent former forces loyal to Jubbaland Security Minister Abdirashid Janan from re-forming. Somali security forces arrested Janan last year for committing various crimes in the Gedo region. He escaped from a Mogadishu prison on January 29. [4]

[1] Isabel Debre, “Yemeni rebels free detained Egyptian fishermen,” AP, February 4, 2020,; and “Yemen’s Houthi rebels release Egyptian fishermen detained since December,” Middle East Eye, February 5, 2020,

[2] “Al-Shabaab attacks AU base in Somalia,” Radio Shabelle, February 4, 2020,; and Kevin Phelan and Hennessey Herrera,
Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 2, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 2, 2019,

[3] “Key terror suspect escapes from police jail,” Monitor, February 4, 2020,

[4] “Fighting between government forces and al Shabaab in Gedo region,” Mareeg, February 5, 2020,; and “Somalia: Jubaland security minister ‘escapes’ from detention Somalia,” Garowe, January 30, 2020,

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