Yemen's Houthis to release 350 prisoners, including three Saudis

The U.N.-brokered prisoner swap deal involving some 7,000 detainees on each side stalled as the two sides struggled to agree at talks on its implementation.

By REUTERS
September 30, 2019 12:32
1 minute read.
Houthi followers attend a gathering to receive food supplies from tribesmen in Sanaa, Yemen Septembe

Houthi followers attend a gathering to receive food supplies from tribesmen in Sanaa, Yemen September 21, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/KHALED ABDULLAH)

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group said they will on Monday release 350 prisoners, including three Saudi Arabians, under the supervision of the United Nations as part of a peace initiative.

A prisoner swap between the Houthis and the internationally recognized, Saudi-backed government of Yemen was one of three pillars of a breakthrough deal reached in December in Sweden.

The U.N.-brokered prisoner swap deal involving some 7,000 detainees on each side stalled as the two sides struggled to agree at talks on its implementation.



"Our initiative proves our credibility in implementing the Sweden agreement and we call on the other party to take a comparable step," said the head of the Houthis' prisoner affairs committee, Abdul Qader al-Murtada, in statements carried by Houthi-run al-Masirah TV.



"The 350 prisoners ... are included in the prisoner lists of the Sweden deal," he said.



A Saudi-led Sunni Muslim coalition, which receives arms and intelligence from Western countries, intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the Yemeni government from power in the capital Sanaa in 2014.



The Houthis, who control most major urban areas, said on Sept. 20 they would halt missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia if the alliance stopped its operations. The coalition has not yet responded to the proposal.


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