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 prevent UN ship carrying Hadi government liaison officers from leaving al Hudaydah governorate; Saudi-led coalition forces launch airstrikes on al Houthis in al Jawf governorate; HRW accuses Saudi-led coalition forces of arresting and illegally transferring residents from al Mahrah governorate to Saudi Arabia
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detonates suicide vest in Mogadishu; Somali special forces arrest senior al Shabaab militant in southern Somalia
The al Houthi movement prevented a UN ship from leaving al Hudaydah port in al Hudaydah governorate in western Yemen on March 24. The ship was carrying liaison officers from the internationally recognized Yemeni government and intended to travel to the southwestern Yemeni port of Mocha. Several liaison officers suspended their participation in UN observation posts established to monitor a cease-fire in the governorate in mid-March after al Houthi militants shot and injured a liaison officer in al Hudaydah governorate.
Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes on al Houthi militants in Khub wa al Shaf district in al Jawf governorate in northern Yemen on March 25, according to local sources. Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes on al Houthi sites in Khub wa al Shaf district the day prior.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Saudi-led coalition forces of arresting and illegally transferring Yemenis from al Mahrah governorate in eastern Yemen to Saudi Arabia for demonstrating against coalition forces. HRW published a report on March 25 detailing Saudi-led coalition force abuses against al Mahrah residents.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
An al Shabaab militant detonated a suicide vest near Somalia’s Parliament in the Somali capital Mogadishu on March 25. Witnesses reported that the blast killed two civilians. Al Shabaab claimed the attack targeted Somali National Army forces guarding the Parliament, killing nine soldiers and wounding 24 others. This is al Shabaab’s first suicide attack in Mogadishu since detonating a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device targeting Turkish engineers in late January.
Somali Danab special forces captured an al Shabaab commander in Wanlaweyn in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on March 24. Somali military sources identified the commander as a tax collector and member of al Shabaab’s Amniyat (intelligence) brigade. Danab forces arrested the Amniyat’s Lower Shabelle regional leader in Janaale on March 16.
 “Yemen’s Houthis block UN ship from leaving Hodeidah,” The Daily Star, March 24, 2020, http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2020/Mar-24/503274-yemens-houthis-block-un-ship-from-leaving-hodeidah.ashx; 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.
 “Arab coalition aircraft launches dozens of raids on houthi sites and movements,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, March 25, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/161169; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 24, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 24, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-24-2020.
 “HRW: Saudi forces torture, disappear Yemeni civilians,” Al Jazeera, March 25, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/hrw-saudi-forces-torture-disappear-yemeni-civilians-200324170557149.html; and “ Yemen: Saudi forces torture, ‘disappear’ Yemenis, Human Rights Watch, March 25, 2020, https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/25/yemen-saudi-forces-torture-disappear-yemenis#.
 Abdi Guled, “Somalia suicide bomber detonates in tea shop, killing 2,” Associated Press, March 25, 2020, https://apnews.com/2d9672a72a68857003ae55c1cd4c5a5e; “Shabaab Claims Suicide Bombing on SNA Troops in Mogadishu,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 25, 2020, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - January 21, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 21, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-january-21-2020.
 “Somalia's Special Forces seize another senior Al-Shabaab commander,” Garowe, March 25, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalias-special-forces-seize-another-senior-al-shabaab-commander; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 23, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 23, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-23-2020.