- Yemen's Saudi-backed government and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels announced on Monday that they agreed to exchange some 880 detainees, including 15 Saudis and three Sudanese, after talks in Switzerland facilitated by the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).1
- Under the agreement, the Houthis are expected to release 181 detainees, including Saudi and Sudanese nationals, in exchange for 706 prisoners held by the Yemeni government.2
- Abdul Qader al-Murtada, the leading Houthi delegate to the Geneva talks and head of the Houthis' National Committee for Prisoners' Affairs, said that 'the swap will be implemented after three weeks.'2
- The UN and ICRC did not immediately confirm that an agreement had been reached. Saudi Arabia has also not commented on the statements made by Houthi officials.3
- The talks regarding the prisoner swap began earlier this month when the Yemeni government and the Houthis began talks in Geneva. The most recent large prisoner exchange between the warring sides occurred in October 2020, with over 1K prisoners being swapped.4
- Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when the Houthi rebels captured much of the country, prompting a Saudi-led intervention.5
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Al arabiya english. The Houthis have continued to threaten peace and security in Yemen since they launched their coup in 2014. However, through mediation and compromise, an agreement can be made if the Houthis and their Iranian backers are willing to compromise and allow the country to enjoy peace. Saudi Arabia is surely willing to compromise and, in fact, has always been willing to help bring peace to the impoverished Arab nation, but Iranian meddling has not helped the situation. Ultimately, the conflict can only end in a political settlement.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Al mayadeen english. It's the Yemeni government and its powerful Gulf allies who have obstructed peace in Yemen and continue to punish its citizens for standing up for themselves. But ultimately, a political process is likely the best way to end the war at this stage in the conflict. The Houthis have shown in the past that they are willing to take good-faith actions for peace, and releasing prisoners clearly demonstrates this desire. Hopefully, with good mediation, this war of aggression can finally come to an end.