The United National Liberation Front (UNLF), which was banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs earlier this month, has officially agreed to renounce violence, according to Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The minister declared a “historic milestone achieved” as the organization signed a peace agreement in Delhi on Wednesday.
“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,” stated Amit Shah in a post on X.
Formed in 1964, the UNLF has been operating both within and outside Indian Territory. The agreement is poised to usher in a new era of peace in the Northeast, especially in Manipur.
According to the Press Information Bureau (PIB), while political settlements have been finalized with several ethnic armed groups in the North East as part of the conflict resolution initiatives of the Government of India, this marks the first instance where a valley-based Manipuri armed group, the UNLF, has agreed to return to the mainstream. This involves abjuring violence and pledging to honor the Constitution of India and laws of the land.
The agreement signifies not only the cessation of hostilities between UNLF and security forces, which have resulted in casualties on both sides over the last half-century, but also offers an opportunity to address longstanding concerns within the community. The return of UNLF to the mainstream is anticipated to encourage other valley-based armed groups to participate in the peace process in the future, PIB added.
To oversee the enforcement of agreed ground rules, it was reported that a Peace Monitoring Committee (PMC) will be constituted. This development is expected to be a significant step toward restoring peace and normalcy in the state.