Yemen's warring parties agree to largest prisoner swap

Yemen's warring parties have agreed to exchange more than 1,000 prisoners, the UN said on Sunday (September 27) as part of efforts to revive a stalled peace process.

Involving 1,081 prisoners including 15 Saudis, it's the largest prisoner exchange agreement in the five year conflict and UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths thinks it could pave the way for a national ceasefire, and a political solution to end the war.

"This achievement here I think will undoubtedly have a bounce effect for that, that it will encourage the parties to go the extra mile to resolve final differences. So what we will be looking to do as a result of the announcement here today is - in the coming days - to go and visit the parties to finalise the specifics of that agreement. And it's important because it ends the war."

The timing, sequence and logistics of the exchange were still being finalized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which will organize the transfers, Griffiths said.

He's trying to restart political negotiations to end the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people and caused what the United Nations describes as the world's largest humanitarian crisis with millions on the brink of famine.

The Yemeni government, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, and the Houthi movement they have been battling for over five years, signed a deal in late 2018 to swap some 15,000 detainees split between both sides.

But the pact has been slowly and only partially implemented.