A plane belonging to the Red Cross at Aden International Airport carrying 35 prisoners who came from Sanaa, Friday, April 14, 2023 (Adel Hamran)

The 2'nd Biggest Prisoner Exchange Operation Between Aden and Sanaa Kicked off


Fri, 14-04-2023 01:35 PM, Aden

"It's truly touching to see the joy written on the faces of detainees being released today"

Aden (South24)

On Friday morning, the 2'nd biggest prisoner exchange operation in Yemen since 2015 between the Houthis, and forces affiliated with the Yemeni government kicked off.

The Aden International Airport received 35 prisoners belonging to the Southern forces, and forces affiliated with the Yemeni government. They travelled via an ICRC plane that took off from Sanaa International Airport.  In return, 125 prisoners from the Houthi militia fighters arrived in Sanaa via a Yemenia air flight, coming from Aden.

The list of the released prisoners who arrived at Aden includes former Defense Minister Mahmoud Al-Subaihi, and Nasser Mansour Hadi, the brother of former Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Both of them were captured by the Houthis on February 22, 2015 in Al-Anad of Lahj governorate.

Al-Subaihi was seen saluting the crowd once he arrived at the airport. The man enjoys wide popularity among the people of South Yemen.

Today will witness four air flights, two of which from Sanaa to Aden while the other two are from Aden. They aim at moving about 320 prisoners from both parties.

Maged Fadail, the Head of the Prisoners Committee affiliated with the Yemeni government tweeted: "Today, we will receive former Defense Minister Mahmoud Al-Subaihi, and Major General Nasser Mansour Hadi in Aden International Airport as well as a number of heros after being in captivity for more than 8 years".

ICRC said on Twitter: "An ICRC-chartered plane has left Aden to Sanaa, carrying 125 former detainees. An ICRC plane also just left Sanaa to Aden, carrying 35 former detainees. Several ICRC staff are onboard".

"South24 Center"'s  reporter said in front of Aden International Airport that the security forces spread widely in the  vicinity of the airport, and have  taken strict measures.

Aden Airport authorities did not allow the entry of our reporter as well as some reporters for other media platforms without explaining the reasons behind this.

The exchange move comes after the government, and the Houthis reached an agreement in March after negotiations that took place in Bern. They agreed to exchange more than 880 prisoners in a new glimpse of hope amid the acceleration of efforts to end the war.

According to the deal, the Houthis will release 181 prisoners in return of 706 Houthi prisoners detained by the government forces.

Dalila Mahdawi, the Head of Communications for ICRC in Yemen tweeted that "It's truly touching to see the joy written on the faces of detainees being released today".

She added: "Before boarding their flights, many detainees in Yemen had the chance to call their families. It's moments like these that make the work of ICRC so rewarding".

AdenSanaaSouth YemenYemenYemne War