Houthis say release five of their prisoners via local mediation

Sana'a (Debriefer)
2019-10-10 | Since 8 Month

Houthi Prisoners - Archive

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

The Houthi group ( Ansar Allah) said on Wednesday it had freed five of its fighters in a swap in the western coast front, which is in a bloody power struggle for the fifth year running.

The leader of the group, Chairman of the Committee for Prisoners Affairs Abdulqader Al-Mortada, in a tweet on the "Twitter", that five prisoners of the Army Heroes and the Popular Committees were freed today in an exchange via local mediation in the Western Coast Front," he said, without giving further details.

It was not known who carried out the swap with the Houthis, but the forces fighting on the west coast are supervised by the UAE and not under the control of the internationally recognized Yemeni government.

On September 27, al-Murtada announced the completion of a prisoner exchange deal under which 13 Houthi prisoners were released in Jawf and Shabwa provinces via local mediation.

In late September, the Houthi group said it had freed some 4,500

Its fighters have been captured through 400 local and tribal-mediated prisoner exchanges since the war began more than four and a half years ago.

The file of prisoners is one of the most important thorny files, covered by the Stockholm Agreement concluded in mid-December last year between the "legitimate" government and the Ansar Allah group (Houthis) under the auspices of the United Nations, as the parties agreed to exchange lists of about 15,000 prisoners.

However, the actual implementation of the agreement remains stalled as is the case of the ceasefire and the redeployment of troops from the city of Hodeidah and its ports, and understandings on the file of Taiz, amid mutual accusations of obstruction of implementation, which was scheduled to be completed in January.

On Tuesday, the head of the Houthi Prisoners 'Affairs Committee, Abdulqader al-Murtada, criticized the performance of the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, on the prisoners' file, describing it as "weak."

Al-Mortada tweeted: "The weak performance of the UN envoy and his team in the prisoners' file was and remains one of the main reasons for the intransigence of the forces of aggression and their mercenaries in implementing the agreement", referring to the Saudi-led Arab coalition to support of legitimacy in Yemen and the internationally recognized government.

Al-Murtada expressed his dissatisfaction with the failure of the Yemeni  "legitimate" government to take a step similar to the initiative of his unilateral group announced on 30 September  last year to release 350 prisoners, including 3 Saudis.

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