Yemeni prisoner swap between Houthis, Saudi-backed govt will take weeks – Red Cross

Yemeni prisoner swap between Houthis, Saudi-backed govt will take weeks – Red Cross

The prisoner swap in Yemen will take weeks and may involve third country nationals being repatriated, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday. Yemen’s Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed government on Tuesday exchanged lists of some 15,000 prisoners for a swap agreed as a confidence-building measure at the start of UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden, Reuters reported. The release and transfer would be managed by the UN and ICRC. Johannes Bruwer, the outgoing ICRC head of delegation in Yemen, said in Geneva: “We know that lists have been exchanged… It’s going to take a number of weeks for sure.” The ICRC has also seen “a steep increase in malnutrition over the last months” in Yemen and even an immediate halt in hostilities may not avert famine, he added.