Yemeni gov’t, Houthi rebels start prisoner swap talks in Jordan: UN envoy

The Yemeni government and Houthi rebels met on Sunday in Jordan’s capital Amman, starting a new round of talks on the exchange of prisoners, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said in a statement.

“The fifth meeting of the Supervisory Committee on the Implementation of the Prisoners and Detainees Exchange Agreement has started today in Amman,” Griffiths said.

“The committee resumes discussions between the parties to the conflict in Yemen to discuss the release of more detainees following the release of 1,065 detainees last October,” he said.

“I urge the parties to prioritize in their discussions the immediate and unconditional release of all sick, wounded, elderly and children detainees as well as all arbitrarily detained civilians, including women,” the UN envoy said in the statement.

The meeting, which came a day after the arrival of both delegations in Amman, is co-chaired by the Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

In October 2020, the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels released a total of 1,065 prisoners from both sides, the largest UN-sponsored exchange deal between them since the outbreak of a civil war in Yemen.