Yemeni gov't swaps prisoners with southern council: official

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-01 21:51:42|Editor: huaxia

ADEN, Yemen, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- A prisoner swap between the Yemeni government forces and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) was achieved on Thursday in the country's southern province of Abyan, a military official told Xinhua.

"Tribal figures conducted a mediation and successfully exchanged around 206 prisoners between the STC and the government forces in Abyan," the local military official said on condition of anonymity.

He said that that nearly 178 prisoners of the STC's troops were set free in exchange for the release of 28 government soldiers during the swap process supervised by local tribal leaders.

"The government soldiers transferred the STC's prisoners from the southeastern province of Shabwa while the STC brought the government's prisoners from Aden and met together in Abyan," he added.

Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross participated in the prisoner swap between the two warring rivals, according to the official.

Local tribal mediators have more than once succeeded in completing prisoner exchanges between local warring Yemeni factions during the past years.

Units of the Aden-based STC engaged in armed confrontations with Yemen's government over the control of key southern provinces last year.

Currently, representatives of the STC and Yemen's government are participating in reconciliation talks in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh to discuss forming a new power-sharing government and ending the conflict.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked in a civil war since late 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country and seized all northern areas including capital Sanaa. Enditem