In a major development, Yemen Government and the Ansar Allah, formally known as Houthi rebels, signed an agreement on Sunday to liberate 1,081 conflict-related individuals, in accordance with the lists of agreed-upon names.
UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths remarked at the Closing Session of the Fourth Meeting of the Supervisory Committee on the Implementation of the Prisoners’ Exchange Agreement, which was co-chaired by his office (OSESGY) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), that “ Releasing the 1,081 individuals would and indeed will represent the largest release operation during the history of the conflict in Yemen.
Releasing those detainees will bring immense relief and comfort to more than a thousand families who will be reunited with their loved ones because of your acts and your decisions. It will bring reassurance and hope to many more families still waiting the release of their loved ones and their friends.
It will also send an important message about the conflict. It will indicate that when you show good faith and willingness to compromise, as you have, peaceful negotiations can succeed and they will succeed in bringing relief to the Yemeni people and building confidence for the peace process.
The co-chair, ICRC Regional Director for the Near and Middle East Fabrizio Carbonic called the announcement “a positive step for hundreds of detainees and their families back home who have been separated for years and will be reunited soon”.
However, he noted that it marks only the beginning of the process and encouraged parties to continue with “the same urgency” to agree on a concrete implementation plan, “so this operation can move from signatures on paper to reality on the ground’’.