Armenia’s top army general, Movses Hakobian, was dismissed on Thursday in a move initiated by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.
A relevant decree signed by President Armen Sarkissian was requested by Pashinian in accordance with the Armenian constitution.
The premier announced Hakobian’s impending sacking at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting held earlier in the day. He attributed the move to Hakobian’s “transfer to another position.”
“I want to say that the decision was made in an atmosphere of mutual consent,” Pashinian said, adding that the new chief of the Armenian army’s General Staff will be appointed “by the end of the day.”
Hakobian was replaced by Major-General Artak Davtian later in the evening. Davtian, 47, has been the commander of the Armenian army’s Fifth Corps since September 2017. He had previously held senior positions in the General Staff.
Pashinian, meanwhile, announced his decision to appoint Hakobian as Armenia’s chief military inspector.
Hakobian was named as army chief in October 2016 by then President Serzh Sarkisian. He had worked as deputy chief of the General Staff since 2015.
The 53-year-old colonel-general is a native of Nagorno-Karabakh and a former Soviet army officer who served in Afghanistan from 1987-1988. He played a prominent role in the 1991-1994 war with Azerbaijan.
Hakobian was the commander of Karabakh’s Armenian-backed army from 2007-2015.