Middle East

Yemeni government, Houthis exchange prisoners

Each side swaps 8 detainees in Al-Jawf governorate, says military official

Shoukry Hussein   | 10.06.2021
Yemeni government, Houthis exchange prisoners

SANAA, Yemen

The Yemeni government and the Houthi rebel group on Thursday carried out a new prisoner swap in the eastern Al-Jawf province, an army official said.

Eight prisoners were released from each side, Col. Yahya Al-Haser, head of the Committee of Prisoners and Detainees in the Sixth Military Region based in Al-Jawf province, told Anadolu Agency.

"The exchange process occurred in Al-Jawf governorate in the north of the county," he added.

Last October, the government and the Houthis exchanged 1,056 prisoners from both sides in the largest swap deal since the war began seven years ago.

In December 2018, government representatives and Houthi rebel leaders held UN-brokered talks in Stockholm, Sweden, which yielded a cease-fire agreement and the swapping of prisoners in the coastal city of Al-Hudaydah.

A deal was struck in Switzerland in September 2020, and hundreds of fighters from both sides returned home the following month in the largest handover since the war began.

There is no accurate count of prisoners on either side as they continue to capture each other during their ongoing war.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and chaos since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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