Yemeni consultations on prisoner swap in Jordan Wednesday

Riyadh (Debriefer)
2019-01-13 | Since 2 Day

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

Secondary consultations are set to begin next Wednesday in Jordan between Yemeni rivals on a deal reached at Sweden talks to swap prisoners.

A meeting will be held on Wednesday to address stages left of the prisoner swap deal, Hadi Haij, Yemeni government official in charge of prisoners' dossier, told the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat paper.

Yemeni recognized government and Houthi rebels agreed last December at Stockholm peace talks to swap more than 16,000 prisoners within four to five weeks from date of inking the deal.

Last Thursday, the Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safdi said his country was considering a request, by UN Envoy Martin Griffiths, to host definite consultations between Yemeni warring parties in Amman.

A UN source in Amman stated then that the meeting would discuss the prisoner swap deal, whose application has been stumbling so far.

At press conference with his Yemeni counterpart Khaled al-Yamani, FM Safdi said "Jordan will deal with [Griffiths] request in harmony with its essential principle, i.e. contributing to solving Yemeni crisis, in coordination with brethren."

The request, he added, would be answered as soon as possible.

The five-stage deal includes exchanging prisoner lists, feedbacks on the lists, comments on feedbacks, answers to comments and finally logistic arrangements for releasing prisoners.

Haij, prisoners' dossier officer, said the deal was stalemating at its second stage, accusing Houthis of refraining from providing his government with feedbacks on 232 names.

Late last December, Hadi official accused the rebels of attempting to thwart prisoner-swap pact, citing "the large number [of prisoners] introduced by Houthis indicates that they did not list their actual captives. They rather listed all those who had lost in mountains and towns where they had been pushed by them to fight and ended up killed by communities that had defended themselves and their properties."

He added that "2612 names listed [by Houthis] have no presence.. Houthis declined to have in their jails 2946 out of 8576 prisoners named in the list presented by the government delegation to Sweden talks."

For his part, Houthi prisoner committee's head, Abdul Kader al-Mortada, said the government lists named in all 9,147 prisoners, including 2171 repeats, 1144 detainees already released, 1460 unreal names whose data were incomplete, 111 AQAP and Isis elements and 47 people detained over criminal and immoral cases.

Yemen has been racked by an armed conflict that broke out after the Iran-backed Houthis had ousted the internationally recognized government late in 2014.

The conflict escalated after a Saudi-led coalition intervened militarily in the country in March 2015 to reinstate the government of President Hadi, leaving tens of thousands killed, hundreds of thousands injured, and 3 million displaced.

The war has pushed the country to the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, with more than two thirds of the 28-million population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection, including 8.4 million people unsure how to get next meal, and some 2 million children suffering severe shortage of nutrition.

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