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Manipur’s oldest rebel group UNLF signs peace pact with govt

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NEW DELHI, Nov 29: The government on Wednesday signed a
peace agreement with United National Liberation Front (UNLF),
Manipur’s oldest militant organisation dominated by the
majority Meitei community, under which the rebel group has
agreed to renounce violence.
The development comes days after the ban on the group under
the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was
extended for five years earlier this month.
Representatives of the UNLF signed the agreement here with
senior officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and
Manipur government, an official spokesperson said.
While political settlements have been finalised with several
ethnic armed groups of the Northeast as part of conflict
resolution initiatives of the Centre, it is for the first time a
valley-based Manipuri armed group has agreed to return to
mainstream by abjuring violence and agreeing to honour the
Constitution of India and laws of the land.
“A historic milestone achieved!!! (Prime Minister Narendra)
Modi govt’s relentless efforts to establish permanent peace in
the Northeast have added a new chapter of fulfilment as the
United National Liberation Front signed a peace agreement
today in New Delhi.

“UNLF, the oldest valley-based armed group of Manipur, has
agreed to renounce violence and join the mainstream. I
welcome them to the democratic processes and wish them all
the best in their journey on the path of peace and progress,”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in a post on X.
The agreement will not only bring an end to hostilities between
UNLF and security forces which have claimed precious lives on
both sides over the last more than half a century but also
provide an opportunity to address the longstanding concerns of
the community, the spokesperson said.
Manipur has been witnessing ethnic clashes between the
Meitei and tribal Kuki communities since May resulting in the
death of over 180 people.
A peace monitoring committee will be constituted to oversee
enforcement of the agreed ground rules. The development is
likely to be a significant step in restoring peace and normalcy in
the state.
It is hoped that the return of UNLF to the mainstream will also
encourage other valley-based armed groups to participate in
the peace process in due course.
Hoping that the development will give a fillip to usher in a new
era of peace in the Northeast in general and Manipur in
particular, Shah said “It is a landmark achievement in realising

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PM @narendramodi Ji’s vision of all-inclusive development and
providing a better future to the youths in Northeast India.”
The UNLF was formed in 1964 and has been operating from
both within and outside Indian territory.
The Centre has signed agreements with several armed groups
of the Northeast since 2014 to end militancy and promote
development.
The Centre has also continued Suspension of Operations (SoO)
with 21 Kuki- dominated groups to ensure that peace is
established in hilly regions of Manipur. This agreement was
signed in 2008.
The Manipur government had announced unilateral withdrawal
from the SoO in March against two Kuki-dominated insurgent
groups alleging that they were involved in encroaching of forest
land. However, the Centre did not endorse it. (PTI)

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