Yemen, Saudi Arabia swap prisoners in tribal-mediated border truce

Published March 9th, 2016 - 10:11 GMT
Yemenis look at a police vehicle after gunmen opened fire on it killing two policemen, on March 5, 2016, in the main southern city of Aden. (AFP/Salah al-Obeidi)
Yemenis look at a police vehicle after gunmen opened fire on it killing two policemen, on March 5, 2016, in the main southern city of Aden. (AFP/Salah al-Obeidi)

A Saudi soldier was released Wednesday by Yemen's Iran-backed rebels in exchange for seven detained Yemenis in a tribal-mediated border truce, AFP reported.

The agreement, agreed to by both sides, was reached during a visit to Saudi Arabia by a Yemeni tribal delegation. The prisoner swap and truce deal was the first of its kind since the Saudi-led coalition began a military campaign in Yemen one year ago.

The Saudi-Yemeni border has been the site of numerous deadly incidents over the past year.

The tribal delegation sought to arrange a truce "along the border with the kingdom to allow the entry of medical and humanitarian aid to Yemeni towns near the theater of operations," according to a statement from the Saudi-led coalition.

Coalition forces have since allowed aid to pass through the Alb border crossing, according to the official SPA news agency.

The coalition said it  "welcomes the continuity of calm" which would help "reach a U.N.-brokered political solution."

The United Nations has been pushing for peace talks between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the Houthis , but disagreements over a ceasefire have prevented talks from moving forward.

Over 6,000 have been killed since the Saudi military campaign began last year, over half civilians.


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