Warring factions of Yemen exchange prisoners for second day
SANAA (YEMEN) – Both warring factions of Yemen exchanged hundreds of prisoners on Friday on the second day of a mission to fly home 1,000 detainees and push for an end to the civil war.
The Saudi-led military coalition, which supports the internationally recognised Yemeni government, and their nemesis, the Houthi movement, reached an agreement last month to exchange 1,081 prisoners, the largest of its kind in the five-year-old conflict.
As the released men descended from the plane at Aden, they prostrated, touching their foreheads on the tarmac. Some embraced friends and relatives.
There were celebratory fireworks in Sanaa on Thursday night as buses carrying prisoners who were released that day moved along the road with people lined up on either side cheering them.
“We welcome back our heroes who defended this country,” said Yahya Adel Othman, a resident of the city.
ICRC planes flew twice between Aden city and Sana, which is held by Houthis, on Friday carrying 151 detainees to Aden and 201 to Sanaa.
The head of the Houthis’ prisoners’ committee said on Friday that he hoped there would be another prisoner exchange deal.