The start of the meetings of the delegations of the Yemeni government and the Houthis in Geneva regarding the exchange of prisoners

English - السبت 11 مارس 2023 الساعة 07:32 م
Aden, NewsYemen, exclusive:

 On Saturday, in the Swiss city of Geneva, consultations for the exchange of prisoners and abductees began between the delegations of the internationally recognized Yemeni government and the Houthi militia, Iran's arm in Yemen, under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The office of the United Nations envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said in a statement: "The supervisory committee is holding the seventh meeting to implement the detainees exchange agreement, starting today, Saturday, while this committee, which was formed in 2018, is chaired by the office of the UN envoy in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the membership of the parties to the conflict in Yemen".

The statement added that the UN envoy to Yemen hopes that the parties will be ready to engage in serious and frank discussions to agree to release the largest possible number of detainees with the approaching month of Ramadan.

He urged the parties to fulfill what they agreed to commit to each other, as well as to the thousands of Yemeni families who have long been waiting for the return of their loved ones.

A member of the government delegation for the exchange of prisoners, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Human Rights, Majed Fadael, explained that the new negotiations will continue for 11 days, in order to reach understandings regarding the details of the previous agreement signed between the two sides.

 The negotiations came after the faltering of previous meetings in the Jordanian capital, Amman, during the recent UN armistice period in the middle of last year, where the Houthi militia obstructed the process of releasing a second batch of prisoners and detainees, which included a thousand prisoners and abductees, including the release of two persons covered by UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

The four included in the UN Security Council resolution are: the former Minister of Defense in the Yemeni government, Major General Mahmoud Al-Subaihi, Major General Nasser Mansour Hadi, brother of former Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Major General Faisal Rajab, former commander of the 119th Infantry Brigade, and politician Muhammad Qahtan, a prominent leader in the Yemeni Islah Party.

 In October 2020, the United Nations, under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross, succeeded in completing the process of exchanging the first batch of prisoners and abductees from both sides, and the batch of 1,000 prisoners. However, the completion of the launch of new batches has stalled since then, amid the intransigence and obstruction of the Houthi militia, which is exploiting the humanitarian file as a political blackmail card.