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.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB