Manipurs Oldest Armed Group UNLF Signs Peace Agreement With Centre, Joins Democratic Process

After months of violence that marred Manipur, a big breakthrough has been achieved with the United National Liberation Front signing a peace agreement with the Government of India and Government of Manipur  to renounce violence. Union Home Minister Amit Shah today shared the news on X welcoming the UNLF personnel in the democratic fold. Shah said that it’s a result of the Modi government’s relentless efforts to establish permanent peace in the Northeast.

“A historic milestone achieved!!! 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 (UNLF) signed a peace agreement, today in New Delhi,” said Shah.

He further welcomed the UNLF into the democratic fold. “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,” said Shah sharing photos and videos of the UNLF personnel surrendering their arms.

Manipur CM N Biren Singh said, “The oldest armed group of Manipur has chosen the path of peace, renouncing violence to join the mainstream and embrace democracy. The United National Liberation Front (UNLF) has signed a peace agreement in New Delhi, marking a significant milestone in our relentless pursuit of permanent peace in the Northeast.”

The UNLF was formed in 1964 and has been operating both within and outside Indian Territory. The agreement is poised to give a fillip to usher in a new era of peace in the North East in general and Manipur in particular. The Government of India has signed agreements with several armed groups of the North East region since 2014 to end militancy and promote development.

“While political settlements have been finalised with several ethnic armed groups of the North East as part of conflict resolution initiatives of Government of India, 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. 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,” said 

The Centre further hoped that the return of 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. The development is likely to be a significant step in restoring peace and normalcy in the State,” it said.