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Yemeni govt, rebels to swap about 1,000 prisoners

Yemeni govt, rebels to swap about 1,000 prisoners
Written by Maritime First

The Yemeni government and their rival Houthi rebels plan to start a two-day prisoner swap operation Thursday to exchange more than 1,000 prisoners.

The swap is being carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Sources at Sana’a airport said that four empty ICRC-affiliated planes had landed there to carry detainees jailed by the Houthis to the government side.

The first stage of the exchange is expected to see each side release 230 prisoners, the sources added.

In August, delegates representing the warring sides agreed to release 1,081 conflict-related detainees and prisoners, following UN-brokered talks in Switzerland.

The plan is part of the 2018 Stockholm Agreement, which included several points that have mostly been stalled since then.

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The Houthis and the government have been in conflict since 2014, when the rebels took over the capital Sana’a and other parts of Yemen, driving government members to flee toward the south.

When the Houthis advanced toward the government’s temporary seat Aden in August, Saudi Arabia formed an alliance which has been supporting government forces since March 2015.

The exchange is expected to take place between the Houthi-controlled Sana’a and the government-controlled Seiyun airports.

The Houthis are planning a public celebration to welcome those released by the government.



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