Recently, 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.
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- United National Liberation Front (UNLF): Overview
- Purpose of the Peace Agreement
United National Liberation Front (UNLF): Overview
- Formation: Established in 1964, UNLF is the oldest valley-based insurgent group in Manipur. It operates separately from insurgent groups in the Naga-dominated and Kuki-Zomi dominated hills of the state.
- Banned Organization: UNLF is categorized as one of the seven “Meitei Extremist Organizations” banned by the Indian government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.
- Operational Scope: UNLF operates within and outside Indian territory, with initial training believed to have been received from NSCN (IM), the largest insurgent group among the Naga factions.
- Geographic Reach: The group operates in the valley areas of Manipur and some villages in the Kuki-Zomi hill districts. It primarily operates from camps and training bases in Myanmar’s Sagaing Region, Chin State, and Rakhine State, often with support from the Myanmar military.
Purpose of the Peace Agreement:
- Peaceful Transition: The agreement is expected to usher in an era of peace, particularly in Manipur and the Northeast region.
- Mainstream Integration: It represents the first instance where a Manipuri armed group from the valley has opted to renounce violence and return to mainstream society. UNLF commits to respecting the Constitution of India and abiding by the country’s laws.
- Ending Hostilities: The agreement will halt hostilities between UNLF and security forces, putting an end to conflicts that have claimed lives on both sides over more than half a century.
- Addressing Community Concerns: It provides an opportunity to address long-standing concerns of the community affected by the conflict.
- Encouraging Participation: UNLF’s return to mainstream activities is expected to inspire other valley-based armed groups to engage in the peace process.
- Peace Monitoring Committee: A Peace Monitoring Committee (PMC) will be established to oversee the enforcement of agreed-upon ground rules, ensuring the sustainability of peace efforts.