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: UK Foreign Secretary announces meeting to discuss Yemen with the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and UAE; UN diplomats report plan to replace UN monitoring team leader; Saudi-led coalition conducts airstrikes targeting al Houthi military sites in Sana’a and Dhamar governorates; al Houthi militants claim to target Saudi troops with ballistic missile in Najran region, Saudi Arabia

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM conducts airstrikes targeting al Shabaab checkpoint near Jilib; al Shabaab detonates IED targeting Jubbaland Security Forces near Dhobley; gunmen kill three SNA soldiers in Afgoi; protestors clash with Sudanese security services in Khartoum; Ethiopian government issues warrants over August 2018 violence in Somali State

Yemen Security Brief

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced on January 24 that the U.S. and Britain will host a meeting with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in February to discuss the Stockholm Agreement and next steps toward a political settlement for Yemen. The meeting is expected to occur during a U.S.-hosted summit on Middle East security and Iran in Warsaw, Poland, on February 13 and 14.[1]

UN diplomats told Reuters that UN monitoring team leader Patrick Cammaert plans to step down in February. The UN plans to replace Cammaert with Danish Major General Michael Anker Lollesgaard. The UN has not officially confirmed that Cammaert will be replaced.[2]

The Saudi-led coalition conducted a series of airstrikes targeting al Daylami air base and al Houthi weapons stores in Sana’a city, central Yemen, on January 24. Coalition airstrikes also targeted an al Houthi training camp in Dhamar governorate, on the southern border of Sana’a governorate, central Yemen. [3]

Al Houthi militants claimed to target Saudi troops with a Zilzal 1 ballistic missile and artillery in Najran region, southern Saudi Arabia, on January 24. Official Saudi sources have not confirmed the attack.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted two airstrikes targeting al Shabaab near Jilib, Middle Jubba region, southern Somalia on January 24. The airstrikes targeted an al Shabaab checkpoint and killed one militant. AFRICOM announced that it will no longer share details on casualties from airstrikes in Somalia on January 24, but it quickly revised its statement and said that it will continue to provide those details.[5]

Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Jubbaland Security Forces near Dhobley town, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia on January 25. The attack killed eight soldiers, including a senior officer.[6]

Gunmen killed three Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers in Afgoi town, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on January 25, 2019. The gunmen also killed three witnesses to the attack. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.[7]

Anti-regime protesters clashed with Sudanese security forces in Khartoum on January 24 amid ongoing nationwide protests against President Omar al Bashir. The multi-city protests on January 24 were the largest in recent Sudanese history, according to local media. Government officials claim that 22 people have died during the protests since December, but human rights groups estimate that more than 40 people have been killed.[8]

The Ethiopian federal government’s attorney general issued arrest warrants on January 25 for 46 people in relation to ethnic violence in Jijiga, Somali region, eastern Ethiopia in August 2018. Government investigators discovered a mass grave containing the remains of 42 people near Jijiga and determined that 58 people were killed, 266 others were injured, and ten women were raped during three days of clashes between ethnic Somali and neighboring communities. The attorney general blamed a Somali youth movement called Heego and the Somali region’s Liyu Police for the violence and issued a warrant for Liyu Police chief Abdirahman Labagole, who is believed to be on the run. The federal government launched a military intervention and arrested Somali region president Abdi Mohamed Omar “Abdi Iley” in August in response to the violence.[9]

Visit our Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen storystreams.

[1] Jeremy Hunt, Twitter, January 24, 2019,; “US and Britain plan talks on Yemen with Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” The National, January 25, 2019,; and Patrick Wintour, “Jeremy Hunt insists on Yemen talks at US summit on Iran,” The Guardian, January 25, 2019,

[2] Michelle Nichols, “UN to replace head of Yemen truce monitoring mission - diplomats,” Reuters, January 24, 2019,

[3] “The Arab Coalition bombed Houthi military positions north of Sanaa,” 7adramout, January 24, 2019,; and “Saudi Coalition destroys Houthi training camp,” al Masdar News, January 25, 2019, shelling alition-destroys-houthi-training-camp/.

[4] “Many mercenaries were killed and wounded by shelling in Najran,” al Masirah, January 24, 2019,

[5] Carla Babb, Twitter, January 24, 2019,; “Al-Shabaab degraded by U.S., Federal Government of Somalia,” U.S. AFRICOM, January 24, 2019,; “US no longer announcing deaths, damage in Somalia airstrikes,” Associated Press, January 24, 2019,; and Carla Babb, "AFRICOM to resume announcing Somalia airstrike death tolls," Voice of America, January 25, 2019,

[6] Harun Maruf, Twitter, January 25, 2019,; and Mogadishu Update, Twitter, January 25, 2019,

[7] “Somalia: Six killed at market near Mogadishu,” Mareeg, January 25, 2019,

[8] “Biggest protests in living memory hit Sudan,” BBC, January 24, 2019,

[9] “Attorney General Office Says Investigations Into August JigJiga violence complete, reveals discovery of mass grave,” Addis Standard, January 25, 2019,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Feb '19
Jan '19
Dec '18