Yemeni prisoner swap will take weeks, Red Cross says
The planned prisoner swap in Yemen will take weeks and may involve third country nationals being repatriated, a senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday. On Tuesday, Yemen’s Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed government exchanged lists of some 15,000 prisoners for a swap agreed as a confidence-building measure at the start of U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Sweden. The release and transfer would be managed by the U.N. and ICRC. The ICRC has also seen an increase in malnutrition in the past months in Yemen and even an immediate halt in hostilities may not avert famine, Johannes Bruwer, the outgoing ICRC head of delegation in Yemen, added. “If everything were to stop tomorrow, we would still have a very difficult time in addressing the malnutrition and the increasing risk of famine”, he said.