Saada governor meets ex-detainees freed by al-Houthis

SAADA, March 19 (Saba) - The governor of Saada province Taha Hajar has met with ex-detainees who had been arrested by al-Houthi elements during a 7-month war between government troops and the al-Houthi group in the far north of Yemen. More than 170 Yemenis were released last Wednesday within the implementation of a ceasefire deal that was put into effect last February in order to end the al-Houthi rebellion. In the meeting, Hajar hailed their resistance during the detention. the ceasefire committee, charged with overseeing the implementation of the six-point deal, received 177 people whom were detained by the al-Houthis in Saada province and Harf Sufyan district of Amran province. As a result of the ceasefire deal, displaced people began to return to their villages. The Saada governor estimates that about 300,000 Yemenis have been displaced by the conflict in Saada and Harf Sufyan. On February 11, President Ali Abdullah Saleh decided to halt the military operations in Saada after the al-Houthis had announced their acceptance to the government’s conditions. The ceasefire deal contained: - Al-Houthi commitment to ceasefire, eliminating landmines and leaving positions and hideouts. - Rebel withdrawal from all districts of Saada and stopping interference in the local government's duties. - Returning looted military and public equipment and properties of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. - Releasing Yemeni and Saudi captives. - Obeying the law and constitution. - Pledging not to attack Saudi lands. The ceasefire has come to prevent bloodshed and bring peace into the region. Saada has witnessed a sporadic six-year war between the government troops and al-Houthis since 2004. The last round of the war was erupted in August 2009. UNHCR said that there is an urgent need to address the dangers posed by landmines and unexploded ordnance, as people begin to return to their areas of origin in Saada, making reference to the Interior Ministry reports that showed that since the ceasefire was announced at least five people have been killed and 20 injured as a result of contact with such explosive devices. YA Saba