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Yemeni Negotiator Asks Houthis for Serious Implementation of Prisoners Swap Deal

Yemeni Negotiator Asks Houthis for Serious Implementation of Prisoners Swap Deal

Monday, 28 January, 2019 - 08:00
Head of Houthi delegation Mohammed Abdul-Salam (R) and Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yaman (L) shake hands next to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (C), during the Yemen peace talks closing press conference at the Johannesberg castle in Rimbo, near Stockholm December 13, 2018. (Reuters)
Jeddah - Asmaa Al Ghaberi
A Yemeni government negotiator warned of the failure of the Redeployment Agreement in Hodeidah, which could threaten Sweden consultations.

Head of Yemeni government delegation in prisoner release committee, Hadi Heij, indicated that Houthis continue to hinder local institutions from performing their duties.

Heij predicts that Stockholm consultations will fail, if the UN doesn’t address Houthi militias methods in impeding the implementation of this agreement.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, the negotiator called on the UN to take a serious stance towards the Houthi militia. He also called on the Houthis to implement the agreement more effectively and seriously, especially the prisoners’ swap deal.

He referred to the directives of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Hadi who asked the negotiating delegation to remain “optimistic and patient.”

Asked about changing the terms of Hodeidah agreement, or even adding new terms, Heij reported that the agreement would not change but redeployment mechanisms are expected to change. He indicated that Houthis’ methods are the main reason for obstructing the implementation of the agreement.

The negotiator recalled how the militias refused to hold meetings outside their areas of control and their threats to target convoy of UN Envoy General Patrick Cammaert.

Regarding the prisoner swap deal, Heij said that the file is in its final stages which are responding to remarks, which will be followed by a meeting to agree on the last list and evidence.

Once an agreement had been reached on all terms, both parties will have to determine the logistics' stage, which is the final decisive stage.

Regarding the agreement violations, Heij said that Houthis continue to violate the cease-fire in Hodeidah, which resulted in the death of 50 and the injury of over 300 civilians and military personnel.

He further asserted that the National Army did not respond, however, the matter depends on the UN given that there is no clause in the Swedish agreement which indicates what happens in case of violations and how to deal with the non-complaint party.

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