Houthi ready to swap 823 Saudi prisoners with Saudi-led coalition forces

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Yemen’s Houthi militia has announced that they are ready to swap 823 prisoners of the Saudi-led coalition forces for 1,400 Houthi militants…reports Asian Lite News

The prisoner exchange agreement was reached on March 21 under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), Abdulkadir al-Murtada, Head of the Houthi prisoner committee, was quoted by Houthi-run al-Masirah TV as saying.

The 823 prisoners are composed of 804 Yemeni soldiers and political detainees, 16 Saudi soldiers, and three Sudanese soldiers. The release of Nasser Mansour Hadi, the brother of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and Mahmoud al-Subaihi, the former Defense Minister of Hadi’s government, was part of the deal, according to Abdulkadir al-Murtada.

The Houthis have informed the UN of their willingness to exchange prisoners and are waiting for the publication of a name list from the other side, which is scheduled on March 29 as agreed upon by both sides, according to the Houthi official.

The UN, the Saudi-led coalition, and the Yemeni government have yet to confirm the prisoner swap deal, Xinhua news agency reported.

Around 15,000 people were reportedly held in the Yemeni government and Houthi jails.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government of Hadi out of Sanaa.

ALSO READ: Houthis’ 3-day unilateral ceasefire comes into force

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 in the Yemeni civil war in an attempt to reinstate the Hadi government.

On Sunday, the Houthis announced the start of a three-day unilateral ceasefire with the Saudi-led coalition, voicing their commitment to a permanent truce if the coalition stops airstrikes and withdraws its forces.