Retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert reaches embattled Red Sea port city after a stopover in rebel-held capital of Sanaa, UN official says.
The head of the UN team tasked with monitoring a fragile ceasefire arrived in Yemen's embattled port city of Hudaida on Sunday, AFP news agency, citing a UN source said.
Retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert is heading a joint committee including members of the government and the Houthi rebels, in charge of monitoring a truce in the vital Red Sea city.
Earlier, Cammaert was greeted by the head of the Houthi delegation, Ali al Mushki, in rebel-held Sanaa capital, and a number of other members of the UN team at Sanaa international airport. Cammaert did not comment upon arrival.
He made a stop in Sanaa before heading to Hudaida, a lifeline port city that serves as the entry point for the majority of imports to war-torn Yemen, a UN official said, after holding talks on Saturday with Yemen government officials in Aden.
Retired Dutch Major General Patrick Cammaert, head of #UN @UN 🇺🇳mission monitoring a ceasefire in #Yemen's 🇾🇪 Hodeidah, just left #Aden airport, en route to the #Houthi rebel-held capital Sanaa and eventually onwards to Red Sea port city of #Hodeidah pic.twitter.com/wjbPTl4IaG— SaadAbedine (@SaadAbedine) December 23, 2018
UN team seeks cooperation on truce
On Saturday, Cammaert urged the government and the Saudi-led coalition backing the loyalists to uphold the ceasefire that came into effect last week, said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
He also "sought their commitment and cooperation to secure the unhindered flow of humanitarian aid", said Dujarric, adding that Cammaert will "convey similar messages" to the Houthi in Sanaa.
On Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution authorising the deployment of observers to Hudaida, which is held by the rebels and has been subjected to an offensive by pro-government forces.
A halt to fighting in the strategic port city follows intense diplomatic efforts which culminated in peace talks earlier this month in Sweden, where the warring parties agreed to the truce which came into force on Tuesday.
The ceasefire remained shaky, however, with both sides accusing each other of violations in Hudaida province.
Truce monitoring for 30 days
The UN monitoring team aims to secure the functioning of Hudaida port and supervise the withdrawal of fighters from the city.
The text approved by the Security Council "insists on the full respect by all parties of the ceasefire agreed" for Hudaida.
It authorises the United Nations to "establish and deploy, for an initial period of 30 days from the adoption of this resolution, an advance team to begin monitoring" the ceasefire, under Cammaert's leadership.
Around 10,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led intervention, according to the World Health Organization, although rights groups say the death toll could be five times higher.
The conflict has unleashed a major humanitarian crisis and pushed 14 million Yemenis to the brink of famine.