Yemen rebels and government complete prisoner exchange

Scores of detainees were freed as part of a cross-border exchange between Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels, says ICRC

By AFP

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

 

Freed Houthi prisoners awaiting take off on board a plane from the Saudi city of Abha to Yemen's capital Sanaa. — AFP
Freed Houthi prisoners awaiting take off on board a plane from the Saudi city of Abha to Yemen's capital Sanaa. — AFP

Published: Sun 16 Apr 2023, 12:46 PM

Last updated: Sun 16 Apr 2023, 12:48 PM

Yemeni rebels and government forces freed scores of prisoners Sunday on the last of a three day exchange of nearly 900 detainees, boosting hopes of ending their protracted civil war.

Planes carrying detainees took off at the same time from the Houthi rebel-held capital of Sanaa and the government-controlled northern city of Marib, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.


"The first flight from Marib and the first flight from Sanaa have left," ICRC media adviser Jessica Moussan told AFP.

"Forty eight former detainees were on board the Marib-Sanaa flight, and 42 on the Sanaa-Marib flight."


Three other flights during the day were to complete the deal reached in Switzerland last month to exchange 181 government forces for 706 rebels.

Four journalists sentenced to death by the Iranian-backed Houthis are part of the exchange, said government negotiator Majed Fadail.

Rebel political chief, Mahdi Al Mashat, said the next round of talks with Saudi Arabia, which leads the military coalition against the Houthis, would start after the Eid Al Fitr holiday expected on April 21, Yemen's Saba news agency reported.

The last talks ended hours before 318 prisoners were transported on four flights on Friday between government-controlled Aden and Sanaa, reuniting detainees with their families.

On Saturday, 357 detainees took flights between the Saudi city of Abha and Sanaa. Saudis were among the prisoners freed.


More news from World