Yemen-Houthi prisoner swap imminent: UN envoy

SANA'A, Yemen - The office of Martin Griffiths, the United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, said Monday that arrangements are ongoing for new negotiations on a prisoner exchange deal between the legitimate government and the Houthi militia.

In a statement to Anadolu Agency, the office said there are plans to “set an appropriate date” for discussions on the exchange of prisoners, adding an announcement will be made once “the arrangements are finalized.”

Last month, the Houthis and the Yemeni government exchanged 1,081 prisoners, including 15 Saudis and four Sudanese, following a joint statement on the deal by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the UN announced on Sept. 27 in Geneva.

The prisoner swap was the largest since the beginning of the war in 2014.

In December 2018, Yemeni government representatives and Houthi rebel leaders held a round of UN-brokered talks in Stockholm which yielded a cease-fire agreement and the swapping of prisoners in the Red Sea port city of Al-Hudaydah.

The exact number of prisoners held by both sides is unknown, especially considering that more people have been captured from both sides since the signing of the agreement.

The UN office said Griffiths has been engaged in shu