The UN envoy for Yemen stated on Tuesday that implementation of prisoner swap deal (IPSD) between rivals would help push the political process in a country plagued by a four-year war between internationally recognized Saudi-backed government and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
Success in prisoner swap "is not only of huge importance for those who will be released and their families, but also for the broader political process," Envoy Martin Griffiths told delegates prior to the launch of the IPSD Supervisory Committee's second meeting in Amman.
It will contribute to end disputes and return Yemen to peace, he added.
This 3-day meeting is the second in Amman for the Supervisory Committee on implementing a stalled deal inked by warring parties at the UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden last December.
The Committee, including representatives of the Yemeni government and Ansar Allah and co-chaired by the Special Envoy' Office and the International Committee of the Red Cross, held its first meeting in Amman on the 17th and 18th of last January and adopted new timetabled steps to sustain progress in the swap of more than 16,000 prisoners.
Griffiths, who had not attended the first gathering, said his participation on Tuesday was aimed at accelerating Sweden Agreement fulfillment, stressing that finalizing a list of the thousands of prisoners should be completed by the end of this round of talks.
Success of this round "will lay the basis for the next step which will be to see the release happening," he said, and thus "achieving progress in ending a conflict that has left tens of thousands killed and 15.9 million people facing severe hunger."
The ICRC's President Peter Maurer said the implementation of the deal could take weeks, and "trust is a difficult process that doesn't come from one day to another," noting that successful prisoner swap would "give life for people and protect Yemenis vulnerable to violence."
The Yemeni warring parties have traded blames for hindering the deal that had to see more than 16,000 prisoners exchanged by the end of last January.
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.