(Photo Credit: Defense Post)
On 18 September, the head of the Houthis’ prisoner affairs committee, Abdul Qader al-Murtada, said that the Saudi-led coalition is obstructing the implementation of the prisoner exchange with Yemen, despite the deal being brokered through the UN.
According to Yemeni officials, the prisoners’ swap deal is at a “complete stalemate” on a local and international level, despite signing an agreement with the coalition and its partners to exchange 2,200 prisoners with each other.
Al-Murtada added that the coalition deliberately prevents UN efforts to make “the agreement a success,” with the last round of negotiations held in Jordan’s capital, last month. The senior Yemeni official also mentioned that the coalition attempted to “halt all locally agreed exchanges.”
This prisoner exchange was initially announced on 27 March, with the agreement including the swap of 1,400 prisoners from the Yemeni army and popular committees in exchange for the return of 823 prisoners from the other side, including 16 Saudi and three Sudanese nationals.
In the face of the UN attempting to resolve the situation, Saudi forces continue to violate the truce between Riyadh and Sanaa through the continued use of airstrikes.
The Saudi-led coalition forces and their mercenaries have reportedly violated the UN-brokered truce in more than 161 instances over the past 24 hours.
Violations included flight operations with spy drones and warplanes over the provinces of Ma’rib, Ta’izz, Hajjah, Jawf, Sa’ada, al-Hudaydah, al-Bayda, and border areas, according to an unnamed Yemeni military official.
Last week, the UN Security Council (UNSC) issued a statement in which the body claimed that there was no possibility of a military solution to the Saudi-led coalition’s war against Yemen.
The council called on all parties involved to step up their efforts for negotiations with the aim of expanding the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement into a lasting truce.
In a recent statement, the UN highlighted a 60 percent decrease in casualties since the implementation of the agreement and claimed that the number of humanitarian fuel deliveries entering the country’s main port of Hodeidah has quadrupled.
Despite those claims, the Saudi-led coalition continues to violate the agreement by seizing fuel shipments bound for Yemen.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), more than 23.4 percent are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen, making it the worst human-made humanitarian crisis in the world.