Yemeni peace talks in Kuwait have witnessed positive progress regarding the issue of the detainees and prisoners, as close sources to the negotiating parties said U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has received lists of a total of 6390 prisoners, detainees and kidnapped people to review them, check their validity and the fate of each one of them.
Sources from the negotiating parties said the Yemeni government’s delegation submitted a list that includes 2630 names of which the most important is Major General Mahmoud al-Sobeihi, the minister of defense detained by the rebels since March 25, 2015. The rebels’ list included 3760 names of which the most important is Brigadier General Ahmad Ali Abdullah Saleh, son of the deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Sources from both delegations said on Thursday that they’ve agreed to a prisoner exchange before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in early June.
Sources from the Houthi militia’s delegation said 1,000 prisoners would be swapped, while a government source said the agreement entailed the release of “all detainees,” who number more than 4,000.
On Sunday, the U.N. envoy said he met with the rebels’ delegation to discuss with them the details and mechanism of militias’ withdrawal from Yemeni areas as well as mechanism to hand over their weapons, resume political talks and restore state institutions’ work.
Also on Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond welcomed “progress” in Yemen peace talks, saying a solution to the conflict in the battered Arabian Peninsula country must be political, not military.