The combined efforts of the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen and the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Yemen secure the release of Saudi prisoner of war from the Houthi militia

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Colonel Turki Al-Malki, the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, announced the arrival of a Saudi prisoner of war, Private First Class Mousa Bin Shou’i ‘Awaji, at the King Salman Air Base in Riyadh.

Colonel Al-Malki said that as a result of the combined efforts of the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition and Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Yemen, the Saudi POW previously detained by the Houthi militia had been released. The Private has suffered from a deterioration in his health as a result of not receiving proper medical care from the Houthi militia. The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition agreed to release seven Houthi detainees in exchange for the Saudi POW detained by the Houthi militia. This reflected the resolve of the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to retrieve the Saudi POW in accordance with the Third Geneva Convention, relating to POWs, and humanitarian values and principles. Efforts to retrieve all remaining Coalition POWs are continuing.

Colonel Al-Malki stated that the Houthi militia was unyielding in the POW negotiations, disregarding the humanitarian aspect in favour of trying to acquire political or military gains. He said that “the Houthi militia is still imprisoning thousands of Yemeni people, including political, social and military leaders. Foremost among them is Major General Mahmoud Al-Subaihi, former Yemeni Minister of Defense, whose immediate and unconditional release was demanded in UNSCR 2216 (2015).”

Colonel Al-Malki expressed the gratitude of the Joint Forces Command to Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and the International Committee of the Red Cross for its assistance in securing the release of the prisoner of war, particularly given the detainee’s health condition and the failure of the Houthi militia to provide medical care.