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: STC forces prevent Hadi government officials from meeting Yemeni deputy PM at presidential palace in Aden City; al Houthis claim Saudi-led coalition strike killed farmer in al Hazm; al Houthis claim air defense warded off Saudi-led coalition plane in al Jawf governorate
Horn of Africa: SNA and AMISOM forces advance on al Shabaab in Janaale in southern Somalia; al Shabaab detonates IED targeting ambulance in eastern Kenya; Jubbaland State military commander accuses Somali President of bribery; Kenyan Foreign Ministry cancels meeting between Kenyan and Somali presidents over COVID-19
Yemen Security Brief:
The UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council forces prevented Hadi government officials from entering the presidential palace in Aden City in Aden governorate in southwestern Yemen on March 15. The officials intended to meet with the internationally recognized Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister Salem al Khanbashi, according to local media. The Saudi-led coalition forces blocked several STC leaders from returning to Aden City on March 12.
Al Houthi militants claimed that the Saudi-led coalition conducted an airstrike that killed a farmer in al Hazm, the capital of al Jawf governorate in northern Yemen on March 14. The al Houthi movement seized al Hazm from Hadi government forces in early March.
Al Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea released a statement on March 14 claiming that the al Houthi militants’ air defense system “managed to confront” a Saudi-led coalition fighter jet flying over al Jawf governorate the same day. Sarea said that the Saudi-led coalition jet flew out of the governorate before launching any attacks. The al Houthi movement claimed that their air defense system shot down a Saudi-led coalition jet over al Jawf governorate in mid-February.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Somali National Army and African Union Mission to Somalia forces began an operation to retake the al Shabaab stronghold of Janaale in southern Somalia's Lower Shabelle region on March 16. Local residents reported hearing gunfire and explosions as the forces engaged with al Shabaab militants near Janaale. US Africa Command conducted two airstrikes on al Shabaab in Janaale in early March.
Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device targeting an ambulance near the town of Ijara in eastern Kenya’s Mandera County on March 15. The blast killed three of the vehicle’s occupants and injured two others. Kenyan special forces killed six al Shabaab militants in Garissa County two days prior.
A Jubbaland State security force commander accused Somali President Mohamed Farmajo of bribery on March 14. President Farmajo allegedly asked the commander to allow the Somali National Army (SNA) to take control of Afmadow and Dhobley in the Lower Jubba region in southern Somalia in exchange for one million dollars. President Farmajo has not commented on this allegation. The SNA and Jubbaland State security forces clashed in Jubbaland State’s northern Gedo region on March 2.
The Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs cancelled the planned meeting between Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Somali President Mohamed Farmajo on March 13 over fears of the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit intended to de-escalate disputes between the Kenyan and Somali governments over the Gedo region in southwestern Somalia. President Kenyatta accused the Somali National Army of violating Kenyan territory during clashes with Jubbaland State security forces in Beled Hawo in the Gedo region on March 2.
 “Military tension between gov't, separatist forces continues to escalate in Yemen's Aden,” Xinhua, March 15, 2020, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-03/15/c_138880681.htm; “UAE-backed forces prevent government meeting in Yemen", Middle east monitor, March 16, 2020, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200316-uae-backed-forces-prevent-government-meeting-in-yemen/; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 12, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 12, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-12-2020
 “1 killed by Saudi-led coalition airstrike on Yemen's al-Jawf,” Xinhua, March 15, 2020, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-03/15/c_138878696.htm; and
Pamela Makadsi, Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 2, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 2, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-2-2020.
 “Ansarallah air defenses scare off Saudi F-15 in northern Yemen,” Al Masdar News, March 15, 2020, https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/ansarallah-air-defenses-scare-off-saudi-f-15-in-northern-yemen-report/; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review- February 18, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 18, 2020, Gulf of Aden Security Review - February 18, 2020.
 Harun Maruf, "Fighting between government and al-Shabaab continues in Janaale," Voice of America, March 16, 2020, https://www.voasomali.com/a/5330460.html; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 11, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 11, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-11-2020.
 Abuga Makori, “Three killed in IED attack as Al-Shabaab launches revenge in Kenya,” Garowe, March 15, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/world/africa/three-killed-in-ied-attack-as-al-shabaab-launches-revenge-in-kenya; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 13, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 13, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-13-2020.
 “Jubaland commander rejects $1 million from Farmajo and NISA chief to facilitate Madobe’s ouster,” Garowe, March 14, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/jubaland-commander-rejects-1-million-from-farmajo-and-nisa-chief-to-facilitate-madobes-ouster; “Jubaland president promotes army officer for foiling ‘coup plot’ against him,” Garowe, March 16, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-jubaland-president-promotes-army-officer-for-foiling-plot-to-oust-him; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 5, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 5, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-5-2020.
 “Farmajo’s visit to Nairobi cancelled amid coronavirus scare in Kenya,” Garowe, March 14, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-farmajos-visit-to-nairobi-cancelled-amid-coronavirus-scare-in-kenya; and Samuel Bloebaum, Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 5, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 5, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-5-2020.