UN chief appoints Swedish diplomats as new envoy to Yemen – Middle East Monitor

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed the Swedish diplomat Hans Grundberg as his new envoy to Yemen on Friday Reuters.

The decision comes after several weeks of delay as China debated whether to approve the appointment, which required an agreement in the Security Council.

The 15-member council this week approved Grundberg to replace Martin Griffiths, who became UN chief of aid last month after trying for the past three years to end the conflict in Yemen.

The war killed tens of thousands of people and caused a dire humanitarian crisis that has brought Yemen to the brink of famine.

Grundberg has been the European Union’s ambassador to Yemen since September 2019. UN officials informally shared his name with council members by mid-July for opinion, and 14 members said they would approve of the appointment, diplomats said.

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But China said it needed more time. An official from China’s UN mission in New York refused to comment on why Beijing’s approval was delayed.

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in neighboring Yemen in 2015 after the Iranian-allied Houthi group ousted the country’s government from the capital, Sanaa. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system. The government of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is now based in Aden, but Hadi is based in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

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