Yemen’s Warring Sides Agree to Exchange Prisoners as U.N. Peace Talks Continue

Yemeni forces and Houthis have agreed to swap prisoners as part of confidence-building measures under UN-brokered peace talks that are ongoing in Geneva. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

ADEN, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Yemen’s warring parties agreed on Wednesday to exchange hundreds of prisoners as part of confidence building measures under U.N.-sponsored peace talks now under way in Switzerland, officials from both sides said.

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasani, a senior official in the Southern Resistance – forces allied with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi – said that 360 members of the Iranian-allied Houthi movement held in Aden and 265 civilians and fighters from southern Yemen would be exchanged at midday following tribal mediation.

An official from the Houthi-run prisons authority in the capital Sanaa said southern prisoners had already boarded buses on their way to the exchange venue on the border between the former south and north Yemen. Witnesses in Aden also said they saw buses guarded by local fighters travelling through the city, apparently heading to the exchange venue.

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