UN chief picks Swedish diplomat as new envoy to Yemen: diplomats

NEW YORK (AFP): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has named Swedish diplomat Hans Grundberg as his new special envoy to conflict-wracked Yemen, diplomats said Thursday.

Guterres made his choice known to the UN Security Council’s 15 member states, and Grundberg’s formal nomination should be made public soon, the diplomats said on condition of anonymity.

Grundberg — a Middle East specialist who has served as the European Union’s ambassador to Yemen since 2019 — would replace Britain’s Martin Griffiths, who was named in May to be the world body’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs. In June, Griffiths told the Security Council his efforts to end years of war in Yemen had failed, expressing his “deep regret” not to have made more progress during his three years in the post.

Conflict flared in Yemen in 2014 when Huthi insurgents seized the capital Sanaa, prompting a Saudi-led military intervention to prop up the government the following year.

Some 80 percent of Yemenis are now dependent on aid, in what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The war has also displaced millions of people.

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