Yemen’s Houthis to free 350 captives, including three Saudis, in good will gesture

The head of Yemen’s National Committee for Prisoners Affairs (NCPA) says the Houthi movement will release 350 prisoners, including three Saudi nationals, in its latest goodwill gesture.

Through the release, the Ansarullah movement of the Houthis and their allies in the Yemeni army seek to underline their commitment to peace negotiations held in Sweden last December.

The talks with Yemen’s former Saudi-backed government resulted in an agreement which calls for a ceasefire in Hudaydah, a prisoner exchange and a statement of understanding on the southern city of Ta’izz.

“Our initiative proves our credibility in implementing the Sweden agreement and we call on the other party to take a comparable step,” Yemen’s al-Masirah TV quoted NCPA head Abdulqader al-Mortada as saying Monday.

“The 350 prisoners … are included in the prisoner lists of the Sweden deal,” Mortada said in a press conference.

According to the report, the prisoners will be released under the supervision of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Mortada noted that the Ansarullah movement launched the initiative due to the big delay in the implementation of the prisoner swap deal.

He said the forces of the Saudi-led coalition are continuously hindering the deal through rejecting all the initiatives and proposals put forward by the UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths who welcomed the Houthi move on Monday.

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