Monday, February 26, 2024

Next prisoner swap in Yemen set to start mid-May

The next prisoner swap between the Saudi-backed forces and the Houthis in Yemen will begin on May 15 in accordance with the recently reached agreement, the Saudi-backed Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) negotiator Majed Fadail told Sputnik.

Last week, nearly 900 prisoners from both sides were released in the UN-brokered deal that was reached during talks in Switzerland in March.

On Thursday, the Houthis released 77 more pro-prisoners, including several dozens of sick and elderly, in a move that was not part of the swap agreement, Yemeni media reported.

“In accordance with the prisoner exchange deal, which is still under implementation, the next round is set for May 15,” Fadail said Friday.

The exact number of prisoners to be swapped in the upcoming round has not yet been determined, he added, although stating that “their number is not a problem, since any agreement on the issue is subject to implementation.

Saudi Arabia launched the bloody war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states to reinstall Mansour Hadi, who resigned from the presidency in late 2014 and later fled to Riyadh amid a political conflict with the Houthi movement.

The war objective was also to crush the Houthi movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.

However, it has stopped well shy of all of its goals, despite killing tens of thousands of Yemenis and turning the entire country into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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