Yemen militias swap prisoners with Arab coalition
The prisoner swap is the latest confidence-building measure in the lead-up to a planned ceasefire and peace negotiations
Yemen’s Houthi militias, who control the capital Sanaa, have released nine Saudis in exchange for 109 Yemenis, the Saudi-led coalition said on Monday.
The move comes ahead of planned peace talks next month.
"Nine Saudi prisoners have been recovered and 109 Yemenis who were arrested in the military operations zone" near the border have been handed over, the coalition said in a statement.
The prisoner swap is the latest confidence-building measure in the lead-up to a planned ceasefire and peace negotiations next month.
Last week, UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed announced that the combatants have agreed to a ceasefire from midnight on April 10, to be followed by peace talks in Kuwait on April 18.
Previous negotiations have failed and several ceasefires were never respected in the year since the Arab-led coalition began air strikes in support of President Abedrabbu Mansour Hadi.
But a more conducive atmosphere prevails ahead of the new round of planned talks.
A mediation effort by tribal leaders earlier this month led to the exchange of one Saudi soldier for seven
Yemenis detained by Saudi authorities at the border.
According to the United Nations, about 6,300 people have been killed in the conflict, more than half of them civilians.
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