Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion key to ex­o­dus

BEIT JALA – The Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion of Pales­tine is the main fac­tor be­hind the ex­o­dus of Pales­tinian Chris­tians from the re­gion, ac­cord­ing to a new study from a lo­cal univer­sity. The re­search car­ried out by Dar al-kalima Univer­sity in the oc­cu­pied West Ba

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

Hun­dreds freed in pris­oner swap

HOR­LIVKA – Ukraine and pro-rus­sian separatist rebels con­ducted the largest ex­change of pris­on­ers since con­flict broke out in 2014, send­ing hun­dreds of cap­tives home to their fam­i­lies yes­ter­day ahead of New Year and Ortho­dox Christ­mas.

More than 10 000 peo­ple have been killed in the con­flict and ca­su­al­ties are still re­ported al­most daily de­spite a cease­fire that froze the front­lines in place since 2015.

“My son rang,” the mother of a Ukrainian pris­oner Olek­sandr Oliynyk told the Ukrainian news channel 112.

“I have not heard his voice for three-and-a-half years, just let­ters. He said: ‘Mum, I’m al­ready here.’ You can­not imag­ine what it means for a mother, to not see your child for three-and-a-half years, since Au­gust 2014.”

Ac­cord­ing to the terms of the deal, Kiev was meant to hand over 306 pris­on­ers to the rebels and re­ceive 74 pris­on­ers in re­turn. A Reuters pho­tog­ra­pher at the scene saw the Ukrainian pris­on­ers be­ing loaded onto buses in the town of Hor­livka and taken to ter­ri­tory con­trolled by the Ukrainian gov­ern­ment.

“All 74 Ukrainian hostages are al­ready at home, on the ter­ri­tory con­trolled by our army,” Ukraine’s Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko wrote on so­cial me­dia.

The ex­act num­ber of pris­on­ers ex­changed is un­cer­tain. Vik­tor Medved­chuk, Ukraine’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to on­go­ing peace talks, said some cap­tives held by Ukraine re­fused to re­turn to rebel-held ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to the Rus­sian news agency TASS.

More pris­on­ers are ex­pected to change hands in 2018, TASS cited Medved­chuk as say­ing. The Ukrainian state se­cu­rity ser­vice said 103 pris­on­ers re­mained in separatist hands.

There was no im­me­di­ate com­ment from the au­thor­i­ties in Mos­cow. (Reuters) (Al Jazeera)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Barbados

© PressReader. All rights reserved.