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Yemen's Houthis unilaterally release hundreds of detainees

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on September 30, 2019 - Duration: 01:12s

Yemen's Houthis unilaterally release hundreds of detainees

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group on Monday released hundreds of Yemeni prisoners in a unilateral move the United Nations hoped would help revive a stalled peace process.

Ciara Lee reports

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Yemen's Houthis unilaterally release hundreds of detainees

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group released hundreds of Yemeni prisoners on Monday (September 30) in a move the U.N.

Hoped would help revive a stalled peace process.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RELEASED PRISONER, IBRAHIM HADI, SAYING: "It's been a year and a half and our feelings today are indescribable.

We hope that all parties can take similar initiatives and release all the prisoners." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RELEASED PRISONER, AS'AAD ALY, SAYING: "We suffered in prison and today I feel at peace because of my release.

It's such a joy.

The International Red Cross facilitated the release and said 290 Yemeni nationals were transferred from the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa to their homes.

The Houthis agreed in Sweden in December with the Saudi-backed government to swap prisoners as a confidence-building step.

But the arrangement has been stalled as the sides struggled to agree on implementation.

A Saudi-led Sunni Muslim coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the Yemeni government in 2014.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

The United Nations calls it the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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