Imphal, Aug. 3: Manipur-based tribal militant groups, under the banner of
Kuki National Organisation (KNO), are set to sign a ceasefire with the
Centre to pave the way for peace talks.
The organisation has 10 constituent member groups which have "agreed" to
sign the ceasefire after three rounds of tripartite talks with the Union
home ministry and state government since February this year, it was revealed
"Representatives of the KNO have agreed to sign the ceasefire during the
last round of meeting held in Delhi on July 15. They have agreed to the
ground rules and we are hoping that they would sign the ceasefire in the
next meeting," a source said.
KNO comprises the Kuki National Organisation, the Kuki National Army, the
Kuki National Front (Military Council), the Kuki National Front (Zougam),
the United Socialist Revolutionary Army, the Kuki Revolutionary Army
(Unification), the Hmar National Army, the United Komrem Revolutionary Army,
the Zou Defense Volunteers and the Kuki Liberation Army.
Chief secretary Rakesh Sharma, director-general of police Yumnam Joykumar
Singh and inspector-general of police (intelligence) L.M. Khoute were part
of the meeting.
The source, however, said a number of other tribal militant groups under the
banner of United People's Front (UPF), which also attended the Delhi
meeting, have not made any commitment about signing the ceasefire.
The UPF comprises the United Kuki Liberation Front, the Kuki Revolutionary
Army, the Kuki Liberation Organisation, the Zomi Revolutionary Organisation,
the Zomi Revolutionary Army, the Kuki National Front (President), the Kuki
National Front (Samuel), and the Hmar Peoples Convention (Democratic).
Both the UPF and the KNO entered a suspension of operation agreement with
the security forces in August 2005. The Okram Ibobi Singh government joined
the peace process later.
Officials of the Union home ministry and state government are hoping that
the UPF would follow suit once the KNO signed the ceasefire pact.
Designated camps for the truce-bound cadres will be set up 20km from the
national highways and residential areas.