UN appoints veteran Indian officer to lead its mission in Yemen

UN appoints veteran Indian officer to lead its mission in Yemen
Smoke rises after an airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen. Reuters

United Nations: Veteran Indian Army officer Lieutenant General (retired) Abhijit Guha has been tasked with leading the UN oversight of a ceasefire agreement between Yemen's government and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the strife-torn country's port city of Hodeidah.

Guha was appointed on Thursday by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and head of the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA).

He will succeed Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, who served as RCC Chair and head of the UNMHA from January 31 to July 31, the Secretary General's spokesman said in a statement.

The Yemen government and Houthi rebels have been fighting each other since 2015. A truce was brokered in December after peace talks in Sweden was successful.

Guha brings to this position 39 years of national and international military experience. He served from 2009-2013 as the Deputy Military Adviser and the Military Adviser within the Office of Military Affairs of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, while also establishing the Office of Peacekeeping and Strategic Partnerships in 2013, the statement said.

He has also led a number of United Nations' investigations and boards of inquiry in Africa and the Middle East.

India is among the largest troop-contributing countries in the world to UN peacekeeping missions.

(With inputs from PTI)

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