Yemen gov’t, rebels resume talks for prisoner swap
Yemen’s warring rivals exchanged 1,065 prisoners in October
The Yemeni government and Houthi rebels began a new round of UN-brokered negotiations for a prisoner exchange on Sunday, according to the UN envoy to Yemen.
“The fifth meeting of the Supervisory Committee on the Implementation of the Prisoners and Detainees Exchange Agreement has started today in Amman, Jordan,” Martin Griffiths said in a statement.
“The Committee resumes discussions between the parties to the conflict in Yemen to discuss the release of more detainees following the release of 1,065 detainees last October,” he said.
The UN envoy called on the warring rivals to give priority to the release of all prisoners, sick and wounded detainees and those arbitrarily detained.
“I also urge the parties to discuss and agree on names beyond the Amman meeting lists to fulfill their Stockholm commitment of releasing all conflict-related detainees as soon as possible,” he said.
There was no comment from Houthi government or the Yemeni government on Griffiths’ statements.
In December 2018, government representatives and Houthi rebel leaders held UN-brokered talks in Stockholm which yielded a cease-fire agreement and the swapping of prisoners in the coastal city of Al-Hudaydah.
There are no accurate estimates of the number of prisoners held by the two rivals.
Yemen has been engulfed by violence and chaos since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sana’a.
*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara
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