The ICRC’s role is to ensure that humanitarian principles are respected and that detainees are treated with humanity throughout the release and transfer process. ICRC teams have assessed the health of the detainees and confirmed that they are fit to travel. They will also accompany them during their journey and tend to any medical needs along the way. The ICRC will use its planes to fly the detainees into and out of multiple cities in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
The Yemen Red Crescent Society (YRCS) and the Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) will also play vital roles in assisting the detainees. Their medical staff and volunteers will help detainees with disabilities on and off the planes and provide first aid and ambulance services where needed.
The release operation is the result of talks concluded on 20 March 2023 in Bern, Switzerland, where the parties to the conflict in Yemen finalized the plan for the release. The ICRC co-chaired these meetings with the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen (OSESGY).
“With this act of goodwill, hundreds of families torn apart by conflict are being reunited during the holy month of Ramadan, providing a glimmer of hope amidst great suffering. Our deep desire is that these releases provide momentum for a broader political solution, leading to even more detainees returning to their loved ones,” said Fabrizio Carboni, the ICRC’s regional director for the Near and Middle East.