UN chief welcomes further release of detainees in Yemen

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the further release of detainees in Yemen, noting that prisoner exchange is proof that breakthroughs can be achieved through dialogue and compromise.

“The secretary-general welcomes the further release of detainees by the Yemeni parties on October 15 and 16, in line with the agreement reached on September 27 for the release of over 1,000 people who had been detained in connection with the conflict,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Xinhua news agency on Friday.

“This is an important step in the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement and is the largest prisoner exchange since the start of the conflict. It is proof that important breakthroughs can be achieved through dialogue and compromise,” said the spokesman.

“The secretary-general urges the parties to continue on this path in their engagement with his special envoy, in good faith and without preconditions, to finalize the Joint Declaration, consisting of a nationwide ceasefire, economic and humanitarian measures, as well as the resumption of a comprehensive, inclusive political process to end the war,” he said.

More than 1,000 political prisoners captured during the Yemen civil war began to be released on Thursday in a massive prisoner swap negotiated over the past two years and largely overseen by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. In total, seven flights took place on five planes, and more than 700 detainees were released during the first day’s more than 12-hour operation.

The Yemeni government and Houthi rebels completed the exchange of 1,056 prisoners, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen said Friday.

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