UN: significant breakthrough in Yemen’s POWs exchange talks

The Muscat-hosted intra-Yemeni talks on exchanging prisoners and detainees have concluded after reaching a significant breakthrough, the UN announced Sunday.

“The negotiations led to a significant breakthrough, where the parties reached an understanding on releasing Mohamed Qahtan, a matter that has been contentious for years,” the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen (OSESGY) said in a press statement.

They additionally agreed to a follow-up meeting to finalize the names of detainees to be released and arrangements pertaining to the release of Qahtan.

“Thousands of Yemenis are waiting to be reunited with their loved ones. Despite the positive progress, much more needs to be done, and faster, to provide relief to the suffering families,” said Hans Grundberg, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen.

He called on the parties to continue working with his Office to finalize the implementation plan for this understanding, including names of detainees to be released, as well as to agree on more
release operations.

Yemen’s Supervisory Committee on the Implementation of the Detainees’ Agreement, co-chaired by OSESGY and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), concluded its ninth meeting late Saturday in Oman.

The Supervisory Committee convenes negotiation delegations from the conflicting parties in Yemen to support them in fulfilling their obligations to release all conflict-related detainees per the Stockholm agreement following the “all for all” principle.

Grundberg thanked the Sultanate of Oman for hosting the meeting and commended their continued support for UN mediation efforts in Yemen.

He also reiterated the United Nations repeated calls for the parties to refrain from the arbitrary detention of civilians and to respect Yemenis’ rights under international law.

He specifically repeated the demand for the immediate and unconditional release of UN personnel and aid, and civil society workers who were arbitrarily detained in Sana’a and continue to be held in incommunicado detentio

Source: Kuwait News Agency