Saudi Arabia unilaterally releases 104 Yemeni prisoners through ICRC
The Yemeni prisoners were flown today from Saudi Arabia toward Sanaa and Aden.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced that Saudi Arabia released over 100 Yemeni prisoners on Monday, in a unilateral step that comes three days after the simultaneous exchange of prisoners between Riyadh and Sanaa.
The Yemeni prisoners were transferred from Saudi Arabia to Yemen, further raising hopes for a permanent ceasefire.
Two of the airplanes with 48 prisoners on board each were flown toward Sanaa, while one with eight prisoners headed toward Aden, ICRC said.
ICRC media advisor Jessica Moussan told AFP, "We welcome this initiative and are pleased to see that humanitarian considerations are being taken for the sake of reuniting families," adding that, "this will bring immense relief to the families of the detainees."
This came after the Committee revealed yesterday, through its Twitter account, that the second-largest prisoner exchange process between the two countries was successfully completed and included the exchange of nearly 900 prisoners, noting that this process is "a positive step towards peace and reconciliation in Yemen."
تحديث: انتهت عمليات الإفراج بنجاح بعد 3 أيام. عمل الصليب الأحمر الدولي والهلال الأحمر اليمني بجد لإعادة حوالي 900 محتجز سابق إلى عائلاتهم، وهي خطوة إيجابية نحو السلام والمصالحة في اليمن. pic.twitter.com/LZpT3g4joP— ICRC Yemen (@ICRC_ye) April 16, 2023
"After many weeks of arranging, preparing and coordinating, as a neutral mediator, we helped release about 900 former detainees and reunite them with their families," Fareed Al-Homaid, deputy media coordinator for the organization's delegation in Yemen, told Sputnik.
He added, "We hope that the parties will continue to engage positively in consultations and dialogues in order to release all detainees linked to the conflict in Yemen."
Commenting on the Ansar Allah movement's announcement that the party is arranging to hold a new round of negotiations with the Saudi-backed Yemeni government in May to discuss the release of 1,400 prisoners, Al-Homaid said, "We in the Red Cross Committee are always ready to facilitate the release of detainees linked to the conflict in Yemen at any time whenever the parties agree."
The official of the prisoners file in Ansar Allah had announced holding other prisoners from the Saudi army and the Sudanese forces operating within the Arab coalition forces, stressing that the file of prisoners with Saudi Arabia is still ongoing, and the United Nations is in the process of determining the location of the next negotiation round.