Warring parties in Yemen agree to swap nearly 900 prisoners

March 20 (EUROPA PRESS) –

The Government of Yemen and the rebels who are trying to overthrow it have announced a pact on Monday to exchange almost 900 prisoners, within the dialogue process that the United Nations is trying to promote to end the conflict that broke out in 2014.

The main government negotiator, Majed Fadael, has confirmed on Twitter that 880 people will benefit from this agreement, which has included four journalists sentenced to death and senior officials such as a former Defense Minister, as well as the children of a prominent presidential advisor.

For his part, a Huthi spokesman, Abdul Qadir al Mortada, has specified that the pact will allow the rebels to recover 706 prisoners in exchange for handing over 181. The exchange will take place in about three weeks and will give rise to another round of negotiations once the holy month of Ramadan has passed, he added.

This agreement on prisoners, reached after a round of contacts in Geneva (Switzerland), facilitates some detente in a context marked by constant tensions and which has acquired a regional scope, since Saudi Arabia fights on the side of the Government and Iran provides support to the rebels.

This month marks precisely eight years since the entry into the conflict of the coalition led by the Saudis and humanitarian organizations warn that the situation is limiting. Last year, the UN achieved one of the longest truces, between April and October.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has warned this Monday that the hospital they have in Abs, located in the north of Yemen and which provides assistance to one million people, has already reached “the limit” of its capacity. “The dramatic impact of the prolonged conflict on Yemen’s health system requires additional efforts from donors and humanitarian organizations,” said the head of the NGO in Yemen, Caroline Ducarme, in a statement.

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