CAIRO (AP) – Opposing sides in Yemen’s civil war resumed negotiations on a prisoner swap on Sunday, the United Nations announced, more than three months after staging the largest swap since the conflict began.
Negotiations in Amman, the Jordanian capital, between representatives of the internationally recognized government and the rebels come less than a week after the US declaration that the rebels are a terrorist group went into effect.RELATED
The UN’s special envoy for Yemen affairs, Martin Griffiths, urged participants to prioritize “the immediate and unconditional release of all sick, injured, elderly and minors, as well as all civilians detained from arbitrarily, including women ”.
The talks in Amman are being facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN.
In October, the warring factions achieved a massive prisoner swap, involving more than 1,000 detainees. This followed sporadic releases of dozens of prisoners over the past two years that served as demonstrations of good faith, raising hopes that the parties will implement the peace agreement forged in Sweden in 2018.
Conflict in Yemen erupted in 2014, when the Houthis captured the capital Sanaa and much of the north of the country. This led to the intervention of a pro-American Arab coalition in order to restore President Abed Rabu Mansur Hadi to power.
The meeting in Amman comes after the United States designated the Houthis “a foreign terrorist organization,” although that was under Donald Trump and before current President Joe Biden took office.