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UN head proposes new chief of Yemen observer mission

Published: Updated:

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has proposed a replacement for the head of the observer mission in war-wracked Yemen, retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert, only one month after his arrival, diplomats told AFP on Monday.

Former Danish general Michael Lollesgaard has been tapped to replace Cammaert, the diplomats said.

Al Arabiya’s New York correspondent had reported on January 22 that Cammaert intends to leave his position.

Sources who spoke to Al Arabiya’s correspondent said that Cammaert’s resignation was accepted but the he would remain in his position until his replacement arrives in Yemen.

However, a UN spokesperson had denied this at the time.

Lollesgaard's candidacy has now been proposed to the UN Security Council, which has 48 hours to accept or refuse, one source told AFP.

Cammaert’s ties with the Houthi militias and the UN special envoy to the country, Martin Griffiths, had been tense, they said.

Cammaert had reportedly expressed his resentment towards the Houthi militia's redeployment in the port city of Hodeidah late December.

Diplomatic sources close to the UN envoy to Yemen told Al Arabiya that Cammaert considered the Houthi actions a “unilateral, unacceptable operation.”