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: Houthis announce three-day ceasefire; Houthis and Saudi-led coalition agree to a prisoner exchange; Saudi-led coalition conducts retaliatory airstrikes on sites in western and central Yemen
Somalia: Al Shabaab raids Puntland State security forces base in northern Somalia; al Shabaab raids AMISOM base in southern Somalia; ASWJ ambushes Galmudug State security forces convoy in central Somalia
Yemen Security Brief:
Houthi president Mahdi al Mashat announced the Houthis would begin a unilateral three-day ceasefire on March 27.[i] He said the temporary ceasefire included attacks against sites in Saudi Arabia and the group’s military activities in Ma’rib governorate. He also said the group is prepared to cease hostilities against Saudi Arabia indefinitely if Saudi Arabia ends its support for anti-Houthi forces in Yemen. A Houthi military spokesperson later said that the group will resume attacks against Saudi Arabia if it does not agree to the Houthis’ terms.[ii]
The Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition agreed to a prisoner exchange as part of the Houthis’ unilateral ceasefire on March 27.[iii] A Houthi spokesperson announced that the Saudi-led coalition would exchange 1,400 Houthi fighters and officials for 823 Houthi-held prisoners. There are 16 Saudi nationals and 3 Sudanese nationals among the returning Houthi prisoners. The Houthis will release Yemeni president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s brother and Yemeni Army commander Mahmoud al Subaihi.
The Saudi-led coalition conducted retaliatory airstrikes on sites in western and central Yemen on March 26. The coalition targeted Houthi water-borne improvised explosive devices (WBIEDs) manufacturing facilities in Port Salif and the Hudaydah port, Hudaydah governorate.[iv] The coalition also struck weapons depots in Sana’a city, Yemen.[v]
Somalia Security Brief:
Al Shabaab raided a Puntland State security forces base in Af Urur, Golis Mountains, Las Khorey district, Sanaag region, northern Somalia, on March 27.[vi] Al Shabaab fired mortars, stormed the base with ground forces, and detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting troops leaving the base. Al Shabaab claimed they killed twelve soldiers and wounded thirteen others. Puntland State officials claimed they killed twelve al Shabaab militants.
Al Shabaab raided an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base in Maslah camp, Heliwa district, Mogadishu, southern Somalia, on March 28.[vii] Al Shabaab claimed they killed four soldiers.
Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a (ASWJ) ambushed a Galmudug State security forces convoy in Balibiri, Dhusamareb district, Galgadud region, central Somalia, on March 26.[viii] ASWJ killed at least ten soldiers.
[v] Al Arabiya, “Arab Coalition launches airstrikes on Yemen capital Sanaa,” March 27, 2022, https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/03/27/Arab-Coalition-launches-airstrikes-on-Yemen-capital-Sanaa.
[vi] Somali Dispatch, “Al Shabaab launches deadly attack on Darwish base,” March 27, 2022, https://www.somalidispatch.com/latest-news/al-shabab-launches-deadly-attack-on-darwish-base/; and SONNA, “Puntland security forces kill 12 al Shabaab militants in Bari Region,” March 27, 2022, https://sonna.so/en/puntland-security-forces-kill-12-al-shabaab-militants-in-bari-region/.
[vii] Somalimemo, “AMISOM troops killed in northern Mogadishu and other reports,” March 28, 2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/16156/Ciidamo-katirsan-AMISOM-oo-lagu-dilay-waqooyiga-Muqdisho-iyo-warar-kale.
[viii] Caasimada, “Ahlu Sunna inflicts heavy casualties on Galmudug forces,” March 26, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/ahlu-sunna-oo-khasaare-culus-gaarsiisay-ciidamada-galmudug-kadib/; and Garowe Online, Twitter, March 26, 2022, https://twitter.com/GaroweOnline/status/1507681224583749632.