Hundreds of prisoners captured during the war in Yemen were reunited with their families amid diplomatic efforts to halt the conflict.

The prisoner swap:

  • The main warring sides in Yemen are the Iran-backed Houthis and the pro-Yemen government, Saudi-led coalition.
  • The two opposing sides had agreed to release 887 detainees.
  • The large-scale prisoner swap has given the people hope for a permanent ceasefire in Yemen.

The Stockholm Agreement

  • The warring parties had signed the Stockholm Agreement in December 2018.
  • As per the agreement they had committed to freeing conflict-related detainees
  • The agreement brokered by the United Nations had three main components:

the Hudayah agreement:

  • The Hudayah agreement included a ceasefire in the city of Hodeidah and other clauses like no military reinforcements in the city and strengthened UN presence.
  • the prisoner exchange agreement

the Taïz agreement:

The Taïz agreement includes the formation of a joint committee with participation from civil society and the UN.

How did the war in Yemen begin?

  • The conflict in Yemen began in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring protests.
  • The Houthis, backed by Iran, took advantage and captured the Saada province in the north, and then Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, in 2014.
  • The thought of Iran-backed Houthis in control of Yemen bothered Saudi Arabia due to its differences with Iran.
  • Saudi Arabia then led a coalition that included other Arab countries and sent troops to Yemen in 2015.
  • However, they were unable to oust Houthis from Sana’a as well as from the north of the country.

How has this affected Yemen?

  • According to the UN, Yemen is now the largest humanitarian crisis in the world with 80% of its population dependent on aid and protection.
  • Over three million people have been displaced from their homes since 2015, and public service sectors like healthcare, water, sanitation, and education have either collapsed or are in a dire situation.
  • It has lost $90 billion in economic output and more than 6,00,000 people have lost their jobs.
  • More than half of the country’s population is living in extreme poverty.


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