Yemen prisoner exchange postponed to Friday: official

Sanaa (AFP): An exchange of nearly 900 prisoners from Yemen’s civil war will start on Friday, one day later than previously announced, a government official said on Wednesday.

No reason was given for the delay to the three-day exchange, in which prisoners will be flown between cities in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

The biggest prisoner swap since 2020 is taking place after a delegation from Saudi Arabia held talks with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia this week in an attempt to end hostilities.

A six-month United Nations-brokered truce that officially lapsed in October is still largely holding.

“It has been confirmed that the exchange process will start on Friday morning,” tweeted Majid Fadael, spokesman for the government delegation negotiating the exchange.

The prisoner transfers “will last for three days, starting on Friday and ending on Sunday,” said Fadael, revising the timetable he announced on Tuesday.

The Houthis are releasing 181 prisoners in exchange for 706 detainees held by government forces, according to an agreement reached last month in Switzerland.