TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The International Committee of the Red Cross is preparing for a prisoner swap to move hundreds of detainees held by forces loyal to Yemen’s fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Ansarullah movement, according to a statement released by the agency.
The prisoner swap will be done with two aircraft with a combined capacity of 400 passengers.
“We are preparing to provide medical assistance to detainees in need, and two planes, each with a capacity of 200 passengers, to shuttle detainees between Sanaa and Sayoun,” Fabrizio Carboni, the regional director for the Near and Middle East for the ICRC, said in a statement seen by The National.
Yemen’s warring sides exchanged lists of prisoners they want released in a confidence-building measure during talks in Sweden last month. They are still negotiating over the final list of names of prisoners they want to be released.
The ICRC said it was aware of the difficulties of negotiating such a swap but the organization called for both parties to finalize the names of prisoners as soon as possible.
“While these preparations are crucial for the success of the operation, they are meaningless efforts without the parties finalizing the lists of detainees," Carboni said.
Hopes for a large-scale prisoner swap have dwindled after three days of talks in Jordan failed.
"The latest meeting of the Supervisory Committee in Amman allowed for further discussion on the exchanged lists of detainees, a process we hope sees progress in the coming days," Carboni said.
The planned release will bring comfort to thousands of families who lost contact with or have been separated from their loved ones due to the conflict, he said.
The warring sides must submit written remarks on the lists provided, respond and sign the final versions before handing them to the United Nations and the Red Cross.