Hundreds of prisoners have been released in the largest exchange between Houthis and the Yemeni government since the beginning of the conflict in 2015.
The agreement, signed last month in Switzerland, stipulates that the Houthi movement will free some 400 people, including 15 Saudi soldiers and four Sudanese, and the Yemeni government will free 681 Houthi fighters.
Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to exchange around 1,000 prisoners, including 15 Saudis, as part of trust-building steps aimed at reviving a stalled peace process.
The Yemeni government, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, and the Houthi movement they have been battling for over five years, in late 2018 signed a deal to swap some 15,000 detainees split between both sides but the pact has been slowly and only partially implemented.
The two sides will now free 1,081 detainees and prisoners, UN envoy Martin Griffiths said in a joint news briefing with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) after a nearly 10-day meeting of the prisoners’ exchange committee held in the Swiss village of Glion above Lake Geneva.