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 threaten the UAE and Saudi Arabia; AQAP threatens local government officials; AQAP issues new demands for kidnapping victims
Somalia: SNA and Jubbaland State forces clear area in southern Somalia; UN secretary-general recommends maintaining AU’s current staffing level in Somalia through the end of 2022; ASWJ raids SNA base in central Somalia
Yemen Security Brief:
Houthi officials threatened new drone and missile strikes against oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE on March 8.[i] The officials said Saudi Arabia and the UAE are responsible for Yemen’s oil derivatives shortage and vowed to retaliate.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) threatened local government officials in Hadramawt governorate, eastern Yemen, on March 8.[ii] AQAP described the governorate’s officials as “drug users, thieves, and witches” and vowed to kidnap and crucify them.
AQAP kidnappers issued new demands for the release of UN personnel on March 9.[iii] AQAP militants demanded mediation from an unspecified Gulf country and a five-million-dollar ransom for the release of five UN employees the group kidnapped in Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on February 12.[iv]
Somalia Security Brief:
US-trained Somali National Army (SNA) Danab special forces and Jubbaland State Darwish forces cleared al Shabaab militants from areas of Jamame, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia, on March 9.[v] SNA officials claimed they killed ten al Shabaab militants and arrested six others.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recommended the African Union maintain its current staffing level in Somalia through the end of 2022 on March 9.[vi] The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) mandate expires on March 31, 2021. The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote on March 30 to replace it with a new multi-year plan called the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS). AMISOM currently has 20,000 soldiers, police, and civilian personnel in Somalia.
Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a (ASWJ) raided a Turkish-trained SNA Gorgor special forces base in Dhusamareb, Galgudud region, central Somalia, on March 7.[vii] ASWJ militants killed two soldiers.
[i] Al Alam, “Tightening the oil blockade on Yemen… Sana’a threatens a new ‘hurricane,’” March 8, 2022, https://www.alalam.ir/news/6077338.
[ii] Khabar Agency, “Notable Al-Qaeda activity in the eastern Yemeni governorates,” March 8, 2022, https://www.khabaragency.net/news166097.html; News Yemen Politics, “Al-Qaeda threatens to kill and crucify ‘theft’ in the ‘state’ of Wadi Hadramawt,” March 9, 2022, https://www.newsyemen.net/new/82832.
[iii] @FaresALhemyari, Twitter, March 9, 2022, https://twitter.com/FaresALhemyari/status/1501549189326589957?s=20&t=lfM0jb3YR_N19DOf37cK7g.
[iv] Liam Karr and Brian Carter, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 14, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 14, 2022, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-february-14-2022.
[v] Mareeg News, “Somali army captures six al Shabaab militants in operation,” March 9, 2022, https://mareeg.com/somali-army-captures-six-al-shabab-militants-in-operation/; and Goobjoog News, “SNA kills ten al Shabaab members, captures six others,” March 9, 2022, https://goobjoog.com/english/sna-kills-10-al-shabaab-members-captures-6-others/.
[vi] Keydmedia, “UN chief recommends AU maintain Somalia troop levels until 2023,” March 9, 2022, https://www.keydmedia.net/news/un-chief-recommends-au-maintain-somalia-troop-levels-until-2023.
[vii] Caasimada, “Ahlu Sunna forces attack Dhusamareb military base,” March 3, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/ciidamada-ahlu-sunna-oo-weerar-ay-ku-qabasadeen-gaari-dagaal-kusoo-qaaday-dhuusamareeb; and Radio Risaala, “Attack on soldiers in Dhusamareb,” March 03, 2022, https://radiorisaala.com/weerar-askar-lagu-dilay-oo-ka-dhacay-dhuusamareeb/