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British Sources: New RCC Chair on Hodeidah Expected in Jordan Sunday

British Sources: New RCC Chair on Hodeidah Expected in Jordan Sunday

Friday, 1 February, 2019 - 06:30
A view of a street in the Red Sea city of Hodeidah, Yemen December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad
Riyadh - Abdulhadi Habtor
Danish Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, who is replacing former Dutch Maj. Gen. Patrick Cammaert as chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), is expected in the Jordanian capital on Sunday along with 20 UN observers as part of an operation monitoring a ceasefire in Yemen’s key port of Hodeidah, diplomatic sources revealed Thursday.

British Ambassador to Yemen Michael Aron told Asharq Al-Awsat the new chair of the RCC and his UN team are waiting for Houthi militias to issue for them a special permit before traveling to Sanaa.

“Lollesgaard arrives in the Jordanian capital, Amman, next Sunday accompanied by 20 observers. But there is still a problem with the permits,” Aron said.

The Ambassador said his country looks forward to a concrete progress and the completion of withdrawal from Hodeidah’s ports.

“As we know, Patrick and (UN envoy to Yemen) Martin Griffiths had presented a new plan on Hodeidah to the Houthis and President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the two sides accepted it. We are waiting for the implementation of this plan and for a meeting of the Committee in Hodeidah,” Aron explained.

The British diplomat said he had discussed with Hadi Yemen’s economic situation and the importance of paying the salaries of employees, particularly in the province of Hodeidah, to enhance the implementation of the Stockholm plan.

“We want to help the Yemeni government in Hodeidah,” he said.

On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Lollesgaard as head of the UN Mission in support of the Hodeidah Agreement between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels.

Lollesgaard has been a military representative of Denmark to NATO since March 2017, and he previously served as force commander of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali from 2015 to 2016.

Last December, the warring parties in Yemen reached a deal in Sweden on a ceasefire in Hodeidah and the formation of the RCC to monitor withdrawal of forces from the area.

Houthis have boycotted meetings with Cammaert, who is being replaced only one month after his arrival.

A vehicle of Cammaert was shot at last week and the Yemeni government blamed the Houthis for the attack.

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