Yemen: Houthi Rebels Announce Prisoner Swap With Saudi-led Coalition
Yemen’s Houthi militia announced Sunday evening that they had reached an agreement to release 823 prisoners of the Saudi-led coalition forces for 1,400 Houthi militia members that had been taken captive. The deal was reached on March 21 under the auspices of the United Nations, Houthi prisoner committee head Abdulkadir al-Murtada told the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV. The 823 prisoners comprise 804 Yemeni soldiers and political detainees, 16 Saudi soldiers, and three Sudanese soldiers. Among the Yemenis to be released are Nasser Mansour Hadi, the brother of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and Mahmoud al-Subaihi, who served as defense minister in Hadi’s government. The Houthis are now waiting for a name list from the other side, which is scheduled to be published on March 29, according to al-Murtada. Neither the UN nor the Saudi-led coalition nor the Yemeni government has confirmed the deal. Some 15,000 people are reportedly held in Yemeni government and Houthi jails. On Sunday, the Houthis announced the start of a three-day unilateral cease-fire and promised a permanent truce if the Saudi-led coalition stops airstrikes and withdraws its forces.