The Government of India Tuesday announced that it signed a peace agreement with the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF), an insurgent group in the northeastern state of Manipur. Senior officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Manipur government and representatives of ZUF signed the “Cessation of Operation” agreement in the presence of the Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh.The ZUF agreed to lay down their arms, rehabilitate and resettle their armed cadres. The press release by the MHA stated:Representatives of the armed Group agreed to abjure violence and join the peaceful democratic process as established by law of the land. The agreement provides for rehabilitation and re-settlement of the armed cadres. A Joint Monitoring Group will be constituted to oversee enforcement of the agreed ground rule.The ZUF was established in 2011 to safeguard the interests of the Zeliangrong tribe, a sub-group within the Naga tribe. Its main goal was to establish a separate administrative unit consisting of all the areas inhabited by the tribe in the northeastern region of India. To achieve this goal ZUF carried out various attacks against security forces to pressure the government into accepting its demands. It was prone to mutually destructive conflicts and confrontations with rival Naga groups.The ZUF is recognized as an active insurgent group by the South Asia Terrorism Portal. In 2018, the ZUF executed a civilian rumored to be an informer for the security forces. In 2017, they attacked the then Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur Gaikhangam Gangmei. One policeman was also injured in the attack.Insurgency continues to plague the volatile northeastern region of India, where various separatist and left-wing groups raise demands for autonomy or independence. Last year rebels in Manipur ambushed a convoy of paramilitary troops, leaving five soldiers and two civilians dead.
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