Yemen Houthi rebels have begun exchanging more than 1,000 prisoners with Yemen’s Saudi-backed government in the first large-scale prisoner swap since civil war erupted in 2014. U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths hailed the exchange as an “important milestone” toward ending conflict in Yemen, where years of attacks by a U.S.-supported, Saudi-led coalition have exacerbated a humanitarian crisis that’s pushed millions to the brink of famine.
In a related prisoner exchange, more than 200 Houthi supporters were allowed to return home from Oman in exchange for the release of two U.S. citizens held captive by Houthis. This is released American prisoner Mikael Gidada speaking from Oman just after his release.
Mikael Gidada: “[I am] an American citizen. I was living and working in Yemen and was in prison for 899 days, two years and six months, in solitary confinement. And it was hell. It was really hell.”