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17.10.2020 15:27 News >> UN Hails Prisoner Swap Between Yemen Rivals

UN Hails Prisoner Swap Between Yemen Rivals

UN urges all Yemeni parties to engage with special envoy to finalize joint declaration.

The UN
has welcomed a major prisoner exchange between Yemen's warring parties,
describing the move as a "breakthrough" towards peace in the war-torn country.
"This is an
important step in the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement and is the
largest prisoner exchange since the start of the conflict," Stephane Dujaric, a
spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said in a statement Saturday.
Dujaric urged the
Yemeni parties to continue their engagement with the UN special envoy Martin
Griffiths "in good faith and without preconditions to finalize the Joint
Declaration" on the nationwide cease-fire and the engagement in "a
comprehensive, inclusive political process to end the war".
On Thursday and
Friday, the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels swapped prisoners under the
supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
On Sept. 27, a joint
statement by the ICRC and the UN announced a deal in Geneva between the two
warring rivals to exchange 1,081 prisoners, including 15 Saudis and four
Sudanese.
Yemen has been beset
by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Houthi rebels overran much of the
country, including the capital Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a
Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back
Houthi territorial gains.
Tens of thousands of
Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict,
which has led to the world's worst humanitarian crisis as millions remain at
risk of starvation.
*Ahmed Asmar
contributed to this report from Ankara -



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