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: UN Special Envoy to Yemen meets with Hadi government representatives; senior al Houthi official suggests Jordan to host economic meeting on Yemen; al Houthi forces fire ballistic missile toward Saudi Arabia; Hadi government forces intercept al Houthi aircraft in al Jawf

Horn of Africa: Sudanese government claims to arrest 800 protesters since December; former SFG Minister unseats incumbent in Puntland presidential election; AFRICOM airstrikes kills four al Shabaab militants near Afgoi

Yemen Security Brief

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths met separately with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and party leaders in the Hadi parliament to discuss the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on January 8. Griffiths stated that the next round of consultations to be held in Kuwait may not happen if the Stockholm Agreement is not upheld. The Stockholm Agreement calls for a ceasefire and mutual redeployment from al Hudaydah port and city, activation of the prisoner exchange, and a statement of understanding on Taiz. None of these tasks have been implemented without the parties accusing each other of improper execution.[1]

Chairman of the al Houthi Revolutionary Committee Mohammed al Houthi discussed on January 7 the possibility of a meeting in Amman, Jordan to focus on the economic issues in Yemen separate from the UN Peace talks. The Jordanian Foreign Ministry and the political and media adviser to the al Houthi Supreme Political Council Ahmed al Hubayshi refuted al Houthi’s claims.[2]

Al Houthi forces fired a Zilzal 1 ballistic missile at Saudi troops in Najran region, southern Saudi Arabia on January 7.[3]

Hadi government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition intercepted a reported Iranian-made al Houthi surveillance aircraft in al Jawf governorate, northern Yemen on January 8. [4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Sudanese police have arrested more than 800 protesters since nationwide protests against President Omar al Bashir began on December 19, according to Sudanese Interior Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman. Supporters of Bashir staged their first rally in Kassala city in Kassala State, eastern Sudan on January 7 as Osman gave his speech. Security forces dispersed an anti-Bashir march to the presidential palace in Khartoum on January 6 with tear gas and stun grenades. Security forces also dispersed protests in Port Sudan, the capital of Red Sea State in northeastern Sudan. The governments of the U.S., United Kingdom, Norway, and Canada expressed their concerns over the Sudanese government’s response to the protests in a statement on January 8.[5]

Former Somali Federal Government (SFG) Minister for Planning and International Cooperation Said Abdullahi Mohamed won the Puntland presidential elections in the third round of voting on January 8. Former Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali lost in the first round of the election.[6]

Two U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) airstrikes killed four al Shabaab militants in Bagdaad village near Afgoi town, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on January 7. AFRICOM conducted the strikes in defense of Somali forces who were attacked by al Shabaab. The Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) claimed to conduct an operation targeting al Shabaab in Bagdaad on January 7.[7]

[1] “UN Yemen envoy to brief Security Council on Hodeidah truce,” The National, January 8, 2019,; “UN Envoy: there will be no next round of negotiations if the Hudaydah agreement fails,” Al Mawqea Post, January 8, 2019,; Alalimibawzer, Twitter, January 8, 2019,; and “The head of the political parties are demanding the UN envoy take a clear stance towards repudiation,” Saba New, January 8, 2019,

[2] “Arab coalition warns Houthis are not committed to Sweden Peace deal,” The National, January 7, 2019,; and “Al Hubayshi refutes claims published by French News citing al Houthis,” Arab Youm, January 7, 2019,

[3] Wikalat al Naba’a, Twitter, January 7, 2019,

[4] “Hadi government forces intercept a surveillance plane in al Jawf,” Al Mashhad, January 7, 2019,; and “The interception of an Iranian made surveillance plane in al Jawf,” Yafa News, January 7, 2019,

[5] Lena Masri, “More than 800 detained in Sudan protests - government,” Reuters, January 7, 2019,; “Pro-Bashir rally as Sudan says 800 protesters arrested,” Agence France Presse, January 8, 2019,; “Sudan police break up protests as Bashir backers plan rally,” AFP, January 6, 2019,; Hamza Hendawi, “Sudan’s opposition calls for more protests against al-Bashir,” Associated press, January 3, 2019,; and US Embassy Khartoum, Twitter, January 8, 2019,

[6] “Ex-Somali Minister elected as new president of Puntland State,” Mareeg, January 8, 2019,

[7] “Al-Shabaab Degraded by U.S., Federal Government of Somalia,” AFRICOM, January 8, 2019,; “US says new strikes killed 4 Al Shabaab in Somalia,” Mareeg, January 8, 2019,; “Somali intelligence says 4 Al Shabaab killed near Mogadishu,” Mareeg, January 8, 2019,; and “US says airstrikes in Somalia kill 4 al-Shabab extremists,” Associated Press, January 8, 2019,

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