Hundreds Released Yemen Prisoner Swap After Houthi-Saudi Talks | News

April 15, 2023



Following negotiations between the Houthi rebels and Saudi officials, a significant number of individuals were released from detention in Yemen through a prisoner exchange program. This exchange involved hundreds of individuals who were previously held in captivity.

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The Yemeni conflict has resulted in an agreement being reached between the warring factions for the release of approximately 900 detainees. Such significant developments hold potential consequences for the region’s political and socio-economic stability.

The initiation of the transfer and exchange of close to 900 prisoners by the conflicting factions in Yemen marks the negotiations for peace between the Houthi rebels and the Saudi representatives.

On Friday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced its custodianship over the prisoner exchange program, wherein its aircraft fleet is designated for the transportation of the liberated prisoners across six Yemeni and Saudi Arabian cities.

“With this act of goodwill, hundreds of families torn apart by conflict are being reunited … Our deep desire is that these releases provide momentum for a broader political solution,” said Fabrizio Carboni, the ICRC’s regional director for the Near and Middle East.

In Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, Talal al-Nazili was elated to see his brother again.

“Today is a victorious day,” he said. “The day when my brother was released after seven years. We never lost hope and I do not feel the ache I had in my heart, it feels clear now.”

During negotiations in Switzerland in the previous month, the involved parties reached a consensus to liberate 887 detainees and convene once more in May to deliberate on additional releases. The agreement was witnessed by the United Nations’ representative for Yemen, namely, Hans Grundberg, together with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The negotiators were optimistic in expecting an all-inclusive agreement encompassing all extant detainees throughout the course of the 10-day deliberations.

The recent discussions were part of an ongoing sequence of meetings that culminated in the liberation of detainees in the year 2022 and 2020 through the intermediary efforts of the United Nations in a pact commonly referred to as the Stockholm Accord.





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