New head of UN mission lands in Yemen

Sanaa: Retired Danish general Michael Lollesgaard arrived on Tuesday in Sanaa to head the UN observer mission in war-wracked Yemen and replace his predecessor.
Lollesgaard replaces Patrick Cammaert, the Dutch general who had been tapped a little over a month ago to lead the mission deployed in the lifeline Red Sea port city of Hodeida.
The new mission head made no comments upon his arrival in Sanaa, an AFP correspondent said, and it was not clear when exactly he would begin his mission in Hodeida.
He will oversee a team of 75 unarmed observers to monitor a fragile ceasefire deal for Hodeida agreed in December between Ansar Allah and the Yemeni government at UN-brokered talks in Sweden.
Diplomats say relations have been strained between Cammaert and the Ansar Allah battling the government, and with the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths.
Some Ansar Allah members have accused him of running his own agenda, a claim disputed by the United Nations which said his only mission was to improve the lives of the embattled Yemeni people.
On January 17, his convoy came under fire in the flashpoint city of Hodeida but he and his team escaped unhurt and the UN said the source of the shooting was unknown.
Hodeida port is the entry point for the bulk of Yemen’s supplies of imported goods and humanitarian aid, providing a lifeline to millions on the brink of starvation.
Lollesgaard, born in 1960, commanded the UN peacekeeping force in Mali (MINUSMA) from 2015 to 2016, and he then became Denmark’s military representative to Nato and the European Union in 2017. — AFP