Peace Agreement With United National Liberation Front (UNLF):
The Government of India and Government of Manipur signed a Peace Agreement with United National Liberation Front (UNLF) , which is oldest valley-based insurgent group of Manipur.
- United National Liberation Front (UNLF) was formed in 1964, and is distinct from the insurgent groups active in the state’s Naga-dominated and Kuki-Zomi dominated hills.
- The UNLF is one of the seven “Meitei Extremist Organisations” banned by the Union government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.
- The UNLF has been operating both within and outside Indian Territory.
- It is believed that the UNLF initially received training from the NSCN (IM), the largest insurgent group among the Naga factions.
- It operates in all the valley areas of Manipur and some villages in the Kuki-Zomi hill districts.
- It is a banned group It mostly operates from camps and training bases in Myanmar’s Sagaing Region, Chin State, and Rakhine State, with support from the Myanmar military.
- The agreement is anticipated to bring about a significant boost in ushering in a new era of peace, particularly in Manipur and the North East region.
- This marks the first instance where a Manipuri armed group from the valley has chosen to abandon violence, returning to mainstream society while committing to respect the Constitution of India and abide by the country’s laws.
- 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 return of the UNLF to the mainstream will also encourage other valley-based armed groups to participate in the peace process.
- A Peace Monitoring Committee (PMC) will be constituted to oversee enforcement of the agreed ground rules.