Saudi-led coalition says it will release 163 Houthi prisoners

i24NEWS - Reuters

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Forces loyal to Yemen's Huthi rebels take part in a military parade marking the seventh anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition's intervention in their country, in the capital Sanaa, on March 31, 2022.
MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFPForces loyal to Yemen's Huthi rebels take part in a military parade marking the seventh anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition's intervention in their country, in the capital Sanaa, on March 31, 2022.

The move aims to support United Nations efforts to solidify a two-month truce

The Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Thursday it would release 163 prisoners from Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group who fought against the kingdom.

Measures have already been taken to release the prisoners in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to a statement on the Saudi state news agency SPA.

The move aims to support United Nations efforts to solidify a two-month truce that went into effect on April 2, coalition spokesman General Turki al-Malki said.

He added it was to "prepare the atmosphere for dialogue between the Yemeni sides and facilitate closing the prisoners and detainees file," according to Reuters

UN special envoy Hans Grundberg said earlier Thursday on Twitter that the parties have reiterated their commitment to upholding the nationwide truce.

This is the most significant step in years towards ending the seven-year conflict. The last major prisoner exchange, involving around 1,000 detainees, took place in 2020 as part of confidence-building steps agreed at the previous peace talks held in 2018.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the internationally recognized government from Sanaa. 

The war has killed tens of thousands, devastated the economy, and pushed Yemen to famine.

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